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Top Five: Lionel Messi fails

The Toe Poke 33 minutes ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 14, 2011

Portuguese trio make semis

Benfica survived a first-half scare to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, drawing 2-2 with PSV Eindhoven to secure a 6-3 aggregate success.

• Europa League Gallery Photo Gallery

The away side fell 2-0 behind after goals from Balazs Dzsudzsak and Jeremain Lens in the opening 25 minutes in the Netherlands, but a volley from defender Anderson Luisao and a second-half Oscar Cardozo penalty secured Benfica's passage into an all-Portuguese semi-final against Braga.

Braga put in a brave defensive performance to secure a goalless draw against Dynamo Kiev and ensure their place in the last four.

The Portuguese outfit played over an hour of the encounter with 10 men but, after the game ended in a stalemate, they secured their place in the semi-finals on away goals after their 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Paulo Cesar's 29th-minute red card seemed to give all the impetus to Dynamo but a mixture of grit and determination from the hosts and a sorely lacklustre display from Yuri Syomin's side saw Braga progress.

Dynamo failed to make the most of their numerical advantage, which was extinguished two minutes from time when Goran Popov earned a second yellow, and Braga would not have been flattered had they won the match outright.

They will now make their first appearance in a European semi-final and join compatriots Porto and Benfica in the last four.

FC Porto reached the semi-finals of the Europa League in emphatic style, seeing off Spartak Moscow with ease in the second leg. They won the match 5-2, meaning a 10-2 aggregate victory.

The Portuguese champions could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas after hammering Spartak in the first leg, but continued where they left off and killed the tie off in Moscow.

The five Porto goals came from five different players with Hulk, Cristian Rodriguez, Fredy Guarin, Falcao and Ruben Micael all scoring. Artem Dzjuba and Ferreira Ari grabbed consolation goals for the hosts.

FC Twente's hopes of an unlikely Europa League fightback flickered only briefly as Villarreal made ultimately straightforward progress to the semi-finals.

The Spanish side held a commanding 5-1 first-leg lead but Emir Bajrami's first-half goal raised slim hopes for the hosts, needing to win 4-0 at De Grolsch Veste.

They were unable to build on that, though, and Giuseppe Rossi's penalty - and a red card for Dwight Tiendalli - ended even the slightest doubts before a late second spot-kick from Marco Ruben and a fine finish from Cani rounded off a 3-1 win and an 8-2 aggregate win for the Yellow Submarine.

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