PARIS, France, December 2 – A Kenwyne Jones header 10 minutes from time earned Stoke City a 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev on Thursday that sealed their place in the Europa League knockout stages, after Fulham lost at Twente Enschede earlier in the day.
Stoke’s delivery had been poor for much of the game until an inviting Jermaine Pennant cross was converted by Jones to cancel out Matthew Upson’s first half own-goal that had given the Ukrainians the lead at the Britannia Stadium.
Andriy Shevchenko hit the post in the first half for the visitors, while Pennant saw a powerful strike cleared off the line by Yevhen Khacheridi as Stoke pressed after the break.
The result means that Stoke are certain of a place in the last 32, and a draw away to Besiktas in a fortnight will ensure top spot in Group E.
Besiktas are almost there too after Ricardo Quaresma’s late strike earned the Turks a 3-2 win away to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Stoke top the group with 11 points, while Besiktas are second with nine, and Dynamo third on six points.
Earlier, a closely-fought encounter in the Netherlands was decided in Twente’s favour when substitute Marc Janko turned in Emir Bajrami’s cross with a minute to go.
Fulham ended the game with 10 men after Andy Johnson was sent off for a second booking, and while the Cottagers still have qualification in their own hands, coach Martin Jol was a frustrated man at the finish.
“That’s always disappointing because in the second-half we did well defensively from their crosses,” the Dutchman — once a Twente player — said in reference to the manner in which his side conceded.
“Normally we’re very good at defending crosses so that was harsh.
“That was not what you want,” Jol added of Johnson’s sending off. “We need all of our players and Andy Johnson is scoring goals.”
Fulham’s defeat added to losses for Tottenham, Birmingham City and Celtic on Wednesday but the Cottagers remain second in Group K and will secure their place in the last 32 by matching Wisla Krakow’s result in the final round of games.
Wisla Krakow won 2-1 away to Odense and lie a point behind the Premier League side.
Raul further underlined his status as the greatest European goalscorer of all-time with the winner for Schalke in their home clash with Steaua Bucharest in Group J.
Raul Rusescu cancelled out Kyriakos Papadopoulos’ opener in Gelsenkirchen, but the Spanish legend netted the winner just before the hour-mark.
It was the former Real Madrid man’s 74th goal in UEFA competitions, putting him four clear of Filippo Inzaghi at the top of the all-time list.
The win secured Schalke top spot in the group with a game to spare, while second place remains up for grabs after AEK Larnaca of Cyprus beat Maccabi Haifa 2-1 in Nicosia.
Paris Saint-Germain’s recent troubles continued as they went down 2-0 at Salzburg in Group F.
Jakob Jantscher put the hosts ahead in Austria, and Dusan Svento’s last-minute strike means that Salzburg will be through, and PSG out, if they beat Slovan Bratislava in their last game.
Athletic Bilbao’s 2-1 home win over the Slovakians means the La Liga club have won that group.
In other games, Anderlecht made it five wins from five in Group L with a 2-1 defeat of AEK Athens in Greece.
They are already through to the knockout stages, where they will be joined by Lokomotiv Moscow, who beat Sturm Graz 3-1 in Russia.
Lazio’s hopes of progress from Group D remain in the balance after a goalless draw with Vaslui in Romania, but Sporting Lisbon clinched first place in that section by defeating FC Zurich 2-0.