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Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009

Shakhtar stays perfect

LONDON (AP) Shakhtar Donetsk and Red Bull Salzburg stretched their perfect records in the Europa League on Thursday, with the Ukrainian club securing a place in the next round alongside Galatasaray and Werder Bremen.

Shakhtar, which won the UEFA Cup last season before it was revamped as the Europa League, won 2-0 at Toulouse to continue its progress at the top of Group J, while Salzburg scored in injury time to beat Levski Sofia 1-0 but was not mathematically sure of progress yet.

Galatasaray and Bremen also advanced with victories over Dinamo Bucharest and Austria Vienna, while England's chances of a representative in the next round look bleak after Fulham lost 2-1 at AS Roma and Everton was beaten 2-0 by visiting Benfica.

Roma moved ahead of Fulham in Group E with a 2-1 win over the nine-man London club and, while Lazio lost 4-1 at Villarreal, Italy had another boost when Giuseppe Sculli scored in the last minute to give Genoa a 3-2 win over Lille.

Shakhtar followed its 4-0 home win over Toulouse two weeks ago with another easy win over the French side, maintaining its status as the tournament's leading scorer.

Luiz Adriano opened the scoring from a pass by fellow Brazilian Jadson in the 50th minute and Olexiy Gai added a second goal 14 minutes later to take the Ukrainian side to 12 points from its four matches.

Shakhtar leads Group J by five points ahead of FC Brugge, which beat last-place Partizan Belgrade 4-2 to eliminate the Serbian side.

Franz Schiemer headed past goalkeeper Georgi Petkov to give Salzburg a 1-0 win over Levski Sofia in Group G. Villarreal was tied with Lazio on six points after Robert Pires scored twice to help rout the Italian club, but both clubs could yet match Salzburg's 12 points and qualify ahead of the Austrian side.

Diomansy Kamara put Fulham 1-0 ahead against Roma from the penalty spot in the 19th after he had been brought down by Marco Andreolli. But Fulham striker Erik Nevland was sent off for a foul on Daniele De Rossi and John Arne Riise, who played in England for seven years with Liverpool, equalized in the 69th with a low drive from the edge of the area.

Stefano Chukka scored the winner with a header seven minutes later and Fulham defender Paul Konchesky was sent off in the final moments for a foul on Rodrigo Taddei.

Victory put Roma second to FC Basel in Group E with seven points, two more than Fulham. Basel beat CSKA Sofia 3-1 to move to nine.

CSKA Sofia coach Luboslav Penev left five players at home as punishment for visiting nightclubs last week but his stance helped ensure there was little to celebrate on the night of the club's 200th match in European competition.

The Swiss side led through Argentine midfielder Marcos Gelabert's 35th-minute goal before captain Alex Frei scored from the penalty spot after he was fouled.

Sofia captain Todor Yanchev pulled a goal back in the 61st, but Frei struck again in the 67th for his seventh goal in the inaugural Europa League.

Celtic's chances of advancing from Group C appear slim after Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost secured his team a 0-0 draw, keeping the Scottish side last and leaving Hamburg second to Hapoel Tel Aviv — a 3-0 winner at Rapid Vienna.

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