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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lokomotiv Out, Zenit Hopes Take Hit

APEverton's Mikel Arteta, left, tackling Zenit's Andrei Arshavin during Wednesday's UEFA Cup match at Goodison Park. Everton won 1-0 to qualify from Group A.
LONDON -- Everton, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Hamburg and FC Basel all won Wednesday to advance to the knockout phase of the UEFA Cup, while Lokomotiv Moscow lost 2-0 at Panathinaikos to go out.

Everton advanced with a 1-0 win over Zenit St. Petersburg after Tim Cahill scored from a goalmouth scramble in the 85th minute.

Russian champion Zenit played the final 60 minutes down a man after Belgium defender Nicolas Lombaerts was harshly sent off after he was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area.

Everton striker Mikel Arteta had the subsequent penalty kick saved by Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeyev, and Dick Advocaat's side battled hard to almost deny Everton.

" They seemed to put all 10 behind the ball and play on the break ... but we persevered," Australian Cahill said.

FC Nuremberg kept its hopes alive by rallying to beat AZ Alkmaar 2-1, with substitute Marek Mintal scoring in the 83rd and 85th minutes. Demy De Zeeuw gave AZ the lead in the 29th with a right-footed shot from 12 meters.

Mintal finished a run down the right by Ivan Sayenko for the equalizer and scored the winner by completing a similar sweeping move by Nuremberg on the right with another left-footed effort.

Everton leads Group A with 9 points, followed by Zenit with five. AZ and Nuremberg have four and Larissa zero. All but Zenit have one game to play.

In Group B, Lokomotiv went down to a Panathinaikos side that has now won three straight games without conceding a goal.

Dimitrios Salpingidis, who replaced Dame Ndoye in the 63rd minute, latched onto Alexis Tziolis pass in the 70th to put Panathinaikos ahead, and four minutes later headed home his second from a Lucas Vyntra lob.

Atletico also advanced from Group B with a 2-0 win at FC Copenhagen.

Simao Sabrosa put Atletico ahead in the 21st minute after exchanging passes with Sergio Aguero, who scored Atletico's second in the 62nd minute.

The last qualifier from Group B will either be FC Copenhagen or Aberdeen, which play on Dec. 20 in Aberdeen.

Jon Dahl Tomasson scored twice to lead Villarreal past Elfsborg 2-0 and send the Spanish side through from Group C. He turned in a low cross from Nihat Kahveci in the second minute and doubled the score in the 51st.

Villarreal improved to seven points, two more than both AEK Athens and Fiorentina. Mlada Boleslav has three and Elfsborg one. AEK beat Mlada 1-0 with a 46th-minute goal from Tamandani Nsaliwa to keep its qualifying chances alive.

Hamburg scored twice in the final minutes to beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in Group D. Nigel de Jong headed in a free kick from Rafael van der Vaart in the 88th minute and Piotr Trochowski sealed the win from the penalty spot in injury time.

FC Basel joined Hamburg in advancing from Group D with a 1-0 win over SK Brann. Carlos Alberto Carlitos converted a free kick in the 40th minute.

Brann, Dinamo Zagreb and Rennes are in contention for the last qualifying berth from Group D.

A further eight UEFA Cup games were to be played Thursday night, including Spartak Moscow vs. FC Zurich.

The final round is set for Dec. 19 and 20.

The top three clubs in each of the eight groups advance to the next round. Those 24 clubs will be joined by the eight clubs that finish third in their European Champions League groups.

Albanian State Minister Ylli Pango, who is responsible for sports, has written to UEFA asking it to investigate match-fixing allegations involving its last two European Championship qualifiers and implicated Albania's top football official.

"We have received a letter relating to two games by the Albanian national football team, pointing out that there were some irregularities and encouraging us to investigate," UEFA spokesman William Gaillard said Wednesday.

Albania lost to visiting Belarus 4-2 and at Romania 6-1 last month in its final Group G qualifiers.

"There are clear suspicions that both matches were sold by the president of our national football federation [Armando Duka]," Albanian ministry spokesperson Suela Musta quoted the letter as saying.

Duka was appointed during the former Socialist government, now in opposition. Albania's 75-year-old Croatian coach, Otto Baric, resigned following the two losses.