EL: Villarreal punishes FC Twente; Benfica beats PSV
VILLARREAL, Spain (AP) -Brazil striker Nilmar scored twice as Villarreal punished a lackluster FC Twente with a 5-1 win at Madrigal Stadium in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday.
The match was marred by a leg injury to Villarreal defender Gonzalo Rodriguez, who was taken to hospital in an ambulance with a suspected broken fibula, television reports said.
"We have to dedicate this game to Gonzalo,'' Nilmar said. "It's an important step, we played very well and we did exactly what we worked on.''
Villarreal opened the scoring against the Dutch league leaders in the 22nd minute when defender Carlos Marchena headed in a corner kick at the far post.
Twente striker Luuk de Jong left the field limping with an ankle injury and had to be substituted by Marc Janko in the 33rd.
Nilmar then delicately lobbed the ball over stranded goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov only to hit the right post in the 34th.
Borja Valero stretched Villarreal's lead when he struck a low shot which Mihaylov just made contact with but could not deflect away from goal in the 43rd.
Nilmar headed a stray ball down powerfully in the penalty area, beating Mihaylov for Villarreal's third goal in the 45th.
Giuseppe Rossi hit a long shot hard from outside the penalty area over two Twente defenders and to the right of Mihaylov into the back of the net in the 55th.
Two yellow cards featured in the next 15 minutes, for separates incidents by Roberto Rosales and Janko, whose tackle from behind on Villarreal defender Rodriguez forced him to be stretchered off. TV channel Cuatro reported Rodriguez's fibula was broken in the tackle and the player was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Nilmar struck a powerful shot straight past Mihaylov in the 80th for Villarreal's fifth goal.
Janko pulled one back for Twente with a header in injury time, causing a hush to fall on the 23,000-strong crowd.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) -Eduardo Salvio scored in each half as Benfica outclassed PSV Eindhoven 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday.
After Pablo Aimar gave the home team the lead in the 37th minute, Salvio scored twice in a seven-minute span bridging halftime to put Benfica in command.
Midfielder Zakaria Labyad gave PSV hope for the second leg when he pounced on a fumble by Benfica goalkeeper Roberto Gago to score an away goal just a minute after coming on as a 79th-minute substitute for out-of-form striker Marcus Berg.
But Javier Saviola stretched Benfica's lead to three goals when he turned and fired into the roof of the net in injury time.
The match in Lisbon was a repeat of the 1988 European Cup final that PSV won on penalties after a 0-0 draw, but the Eindhoven team never looked like repeating the victory on Thursday.
Benfica overpowered Eindhoven early, but poor crosses and finishing kept the match goalless until Aimar made the pressure pay when he pounced on a loose ball after Oscar Cardozo's attempted shot and drove the ball hard under Andreas Isaksson.
Salvio made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime, cleverly using his heel behind his standing leg to deflect a cross from Fabio Coentrao past Isaksson.
PSV's only chance of the first half fell to Berg, but the Swede headed wide in the 20th after beating Jardel to get to a threatening cross from the left by Balazs Dzsudzsak.
Benfica could have been further ahead before the break. Aimar came close in the 7th when he turned away from Wilfred Bouma and fired a left-foot shot against the post, and Cardozo drew a good save from Isaksson with a powerful long-range drive.
Salvio scored his second and Benfica's third seven minutes after the break. The Argentina striker beat PSV defenders Erik Pieters and Marcelo before drilling a low shot just inside the far post.
And after Labyad's strike, Saviola controlled a sharp pass from the right in the dying seconds, turned, and blasted the ball past Isaksson to give Benfica a comfortable cushion for the second leg in Eindhoven.
PSV's job in the second leg was made harder when Netherlands defender Pieters and midfielder Orlando Engelaar both picked up yellow cards and will be suspended for the return in Eindhoven.
PORTO, Portugal (AP) -Radamel Falcao scored a hat trick as FC Porto routed Spartak Moscow 5-1 on Thursday to control its Europa League quarterfinal after one leg.
The Colombia striker opened the scoring with a headed goal in the 37th minute before Silvestre Varela and Maicon added to the recently crowned Portuguese champion's advantage at its Dragon Stadium.
Kirill Kombarov scored an away goal for Spartak in the 71st before Falcao restored the three-goal advantage in the 84th. He took his competition-high goal tally to 10 with a second headed goal in injury time.
The return leg is in Moscow next Thursday with the winner looking likely to play Villarreal, which routed FC Twente 5-1.
Porto won 2-1 at Benfica on Sunday for its fifth league trophy in six seasons. While showing some of the sluggish effects from those celebrations in the first half, Falcao erased any doubts with his well-struck opener.
The Colombian sneaked in behind the defense at the far post to ground Alvaro Pereira's skipping cross back across the area and into goal.
Porto played with less tension after getting ahead, led mostly by Hulk's power and pace along the right flank and Falcao's work inside the area. The Brazilian forward found Falcao inside the area with a long pass in the 64th and the Colombian chested it down onto the path of Varela to volley past Dykan for 2-0.
Dykan got a leg to Maicon's header in the 70th but the ball bounced off Dmitri Kombarov to cross the line for Porto's third.
Spartak, which threatened early on through Alex and Willian, finally found the back of the net when Artem Dzyuba gathered a poorly cleared ball to find Kirill Kombarov at the far side of the area, and the Russian midfielder struck past Helton.
But the 2003 UEFA Cup champion put one foot into the semifinal when Falcao left two defenders behind to redirect Rodriguez's cross into the box past Dykan, who was left alone with Falcao again just after the start of injury time to turn Fernando Belluschi's in-siwinging free kick into the net.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -Braga secured a 1-1 away draw against 10-man Dynamo Kiev after an own goal canceled out the host's early lead in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday.
Andriy Yarmolenko headed the Ukrainian team into the lead in only the 6th minute, rising to meet a floated cross from Oleh Husev. But Husev deflected the ball into his own net in the 13th to give Portuguese side Braga a crucial away goal.
Dynamo looked the brighter team but was hampered when talisman Andriy Shevchenko was sent off only 15 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.
"The tie consists of two games, and if we weren't lucky in this game it's not so bad, as we'll be more pumped up for the next match,'' said Dynamo goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.
It seemed Dynamo was set for a good evening when Husev picked out Yarmolenko with a floated cross.
But calamity followed when a corner from Hugo Viana somehow threaded its way past several players in the box, and Ognjen Vukojevic stretched for the ball under pressure from Alan, hitting it off Husev into the goal.
The rest of the first half belonged to Dynamo.
In the 16th, Goran Popov powered up the left touchline, and passed into the box to Milevskiy, whose deft backheel into the path of Yarmolenko was chipped just over.
Husev hit a powerful shot from 25 meters (yards) out in the 37th, which Artur managed to just tip over.
Artem Kravets rose between two defenders in the 43rd to head a corner toward goal, but the goalkeeper was on hand again to acrobatically push the ball over the bar.
The game changed when Shevchenko, on as a halftime substitute, was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 61st after he rounded the goalkeeper and shot into the goal, apparently not hearing the offside whistle.
Shevchenko thought he was unlucky to be sent off.
"I didn't hear the whistle. The goalkeeper didn't hear it either and played on,'' he said.
Alan almost took immediate advantage, sprinting clear two minutes later. But Yevhen Khacheridi did well to get back and make the tackle.
The game became scrappy, as Dynamo struggled to mount attacks with its one-man deficit, and Braga seemed happy to take a 1-1 scoreline back to Portugal next Thursday.
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