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Vancouver Whitecaps
1:00 AM UTC Feb 23, 2017
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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League

Trending: Man City edge Monaco in thriller

By ESPN Staff

Nerlinger relieved after Bayern progress

Bayern Munich's director of sport Christian Nerlinger spoke of his relief after the Bavarians reached the group stage of the Champions League with a 3-0 aggregate play-off victory over FC Zurich.

A 1-0 win at the Letzigrund on Tuesday was enough to see the club, who will host the final in their Allianz Arena next May, put their names in the hat for Thursday's draw and keep alive their dreams of appearing in the final on home turf.

"It was a big hurdle and now we are happy to have crossed it,'' Nerlinger said. "We are so relieved because FC Bayern belong in the Champions League.

"We could definitely feel the pressure which was on the club and the team and this is a big step forwards.''

A seventh-minute goal from Mario Gomez did the trick as, from that moment on, Zurich needed four goals to go through - a mountain which was simply too high to climb, despite their continued efforts.

"We knew that Zurich would try anything,'' midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. "Getting the 1-0 was decisive.''

Zurich coach Urs Fischer said it was a "shame'' his side's plans were ruined by the early goal.

"After that, the tie was practically over,'' he admitted. "But my team played well for an hour and tried to push forwards and we were able to create one or two chances. In the end, we deserved to go out.''


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