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2016/17 UEFA Europa League, 2016/17 Group Stage
  • Roberto Rodríguez (87' PEN)
  • Bruno (14')

Villarreal frustrated by late Roberto Rodriguez penalty as FC Zurich earn draw

Roberto Rodriguez ensured another frustrating Europa League night for Villarreal by converting a late penalty to earn FC Zurich a 1-1 draw.
Second-half substitute Rodriguez, who also hit the crossbar, buried an 87th-minute spot kick high into the net for the Group L minnows to cancel out Villarreal skipper Bruno's first-half header.
Group favourites Villarreal, who finished fourth in LaLiga last season but lost to Monaco in the Champions League play-offs, were thwarted on several occasions by Zurich goalkeeper Andris Vanins.
The Spaniards have won only one of their five group games so far, but they moved to within a point of group leaders Osmanlispor, who lost 2-1 at Steaua Bucharest.
Villarreal had already gone close twice through Cedric Bakambu and Denis Cheryshev, whose shot was well saved by Latvia international Vanins, before the visitors took a 14th-minute lead courtesy of Bruno's header from Manu Trigueros' corner.
Zurich, relegated from the Swiss Super League last season but who qualified for Europe after winning the Swiss Cup, responded through Antonio Marchesano's low long-range effort, which was turned away in the bottom corner by Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo.
Vanins denied Alexandre Pato soon after at the other end, denied Bruno his second with a fine low save and also kept out Pato's shot from the edge of the box in first-half stoppage time.
Zurich threatened first after the break as Marchesano's angled drive flew wide, but Vanins came to the home side's rescue again midway through the second half when he foiled Bakambu and Cheryshev within the space of five minutes.
Clear-cut chances dried up for both sides in the final quarter before Zurich were denied an equaliser by the woodwork.
Rodriguez collected a short corner and from way out on the left unleashed a stunning strike that had Asenjo beaten only to come back off the crossbar.
But Zurich were thrown a late lifeline when Villarreal defender Victor Ruiz fouled Moussa Kone in the area and Rodriguez lashed his penalty into Asenjo's top right-hand corner.
Substitute Nicola Sansone went close to snatching victory for the Spaniards in the 89th minute, but the inspired Vanins was not to be beaten again.

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