Sat, Aug 10, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Draw eases Swansea into playoffs

AFP, PARIS

Malmo’s Emil Forsberg, second left, fights for the ball with Swansea’s Alejandro Pozuelo, second right, during their Europa League third qualifying-round match on Thursday in Malmo, Sweden.

Photo: AFP

Swansea ensured their place in the Europa League playoffs after a 0-0 draw at Malmo preserved their 4-0 advantage from the first leg of their third qualifying round clash.

The Welsh club, playing in Europe for the first time in 22 years, saw Michu and Wayne Routledge go close in Sweden while Wilfried Bony had a goal ruled out for offside.

“Overall, I’m very satisfied,” said Swansea coach Michael Laudrup. “It was a professional performance from ourselves, they had a chance in the first minute but then I think we dominated the game.”

“There were also many positives. We have played two games, kept two clean sheets and not given many chances away to the opposition,” he said.

“If we had to find a negative then it is the fact that we have to do better offensively, but we can’t always dominate games, and the clean sheets are very important because it breeds confidence,” Laudrup said.

Scotland’s two representatives in the final qualifying round were knocked out.

Motherwell, already 1-0 down from the first leg, lost 2-0 at Kuban Krasnodar in Russia while St Johnstone were defeated on penalties by Minsk of Belarus.

Saint Johnstone were 1-0 up from the first match, but were defeated by the same score at home before Minsk prevailed 3-2 in the shootout.

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