Villarreal win but fail to reach Europa League final

14:30, May 06, 2011      

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Villarreal's goalkeeper Diego Lopez takes off his shirt after they were defeated by Porto after their Europa League semi-final second leg soccer match at the Madrigal Stadium in Villarreal May 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Villarreal salvaged some pride in the second leg of the Europa League semifinal with a 3-2 win against Portuguese Champions Porto, but were unable to secure a victory big enough to take their place in the final against Sporting Braga.

Knowing his side needed a miracle to overturn the 5-1 defeat from the first leg in Porto last week, Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido started the game with his three first choice strikers in the side. Giuseppe Rossi, Nilmar and Marco Ruben were given the task of scoring the four goals needed to take the Spanish side into the final.

Things went well for Villarreal at the start of the game as they controlled the ball, enjoying almost 80 percent of possession in the opening minutes and saw how Cani opened the scoring following a pass from Santi Carozla after just 17 minutes.

However, the home side ran out of steam and Porto drew level after Mateo Musacchio put the ball past his own keeper before halftime.

Villarreal's Marco Ruben protests a referee's decision during their Europa League semi-final second leg soccer match against Porto at the Madrigal Stadium in Villarreal May 5, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Radamel Falcao put Porto ahead early in the second half to leave Villarreal with an impossible task to reach the final, but Joan Capdevila restored pride for the home side when he scored with his left foot with 15 minutes left to play.

Although Villarreal had no chance of scoring the five goals they then needed to assure a place in the final, the Spaniards kept on pressing and were rewarded 10 minutes from time when Marco Ruben was brought down in the Porto Area.

Rossi stepped up to score from the penalty spot to make it 3-2 on the night, but Porto qualify 7-3 on average.

Source: Xinhua
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