Emmanuel Adebayor came up with two late goals as Tottenham Hotspur overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Ukrainian club FC Dnipro 3-1 (3-2 agg) and reach the Europa League last 16.
Dnipro’s Roman Zozulya headed in a vital away goal for the visitors, who defeated the North Londoners 1-0 in the first-leg, pitting Tim Sherwood’s side against an uphill task.
Good enough, Christian Eriksen’s precise free-kick handed Spurs a lifeline, but was never enough for the hosts, who needed two more goals to pull ahead of their opponent in the round of 32 tie.
Zozulya was sent off for decent, after headbutting Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen in the wake of several previous confrontations between the pair.
The home side instantly capitalised on the numerical deficit as Eriksen whipped in a dangerous cross from the left which allowed Togolese striker Adebayor to poke in.
The Tottenham top marksman, who lost his brother, Peter, in July, put Spurs 3-1 ahead on aggregates by controlling Zeki Fryers’ long ball on his chest and calmly stroking past Dnipro keeper Denys Boyko.
Not included in the White Hart Lane club’s official team picture early on in the season by former coach Andre Villas-Boas; Adebayor has now scored 11 goals in his last 15 games.
“There’s a lot of things that went wrong in my family and today I’m very glad to be back scoring goals and happy with my team,” Adebayor said.
“I have to keep focused and keep going. I want to say thank you to the new gaffer (Tim Sherwood) who came in and gave me my stage to perform.”
The ‘Lilly Whites’ will now face Portuguese leaders Benfica, who beat Greek side PAOK 3-0 (4-0 agg), in the last-16 of Europe’s second tier competition.
Other Europa League Round of 32 Results
Anzhi Makhachkala qualified at the expense of Genk with a 2-0 win in Belgium, which came courtesy of two strikes within seven minutes in the second half while a 1-1 draw between Fiorentina and Esbjerg gave the Italians a 4-2 aggregate victory.
AZ of Holland are through after their 1-1 draw at home to Liberec of the Czech Republic put them through 2-1. Juventus had a comfortable 2-0 win away to Trabzonspor, the same scoreline by which they took the first leg in Turin last week.
Lyon grabbed the only goal of the tie i the second half to beat Chornomorets Odesa 1-0, while a goalless draw between Valencia and Dynamo Kiev put the Spanish side through to the next round with a 2-0 aggregate win.