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Cavani leaves it late for Napoli
Edinson Cavani scored at the death to hand Napoli a 1-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest and a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Steaua thought they had succeeded in holding the Italians to a draw at the Stadio San Paolo which would have been good enough for them to progress but Uruguay forward Cavani had the last say deep in injury time.

Napoli ended the game with 10 men after captain Paolo Cannavaro was handed his marching orders one minute from time for a second yellow card.

With the result, Napoli finished second in Group K, one point clear of Steaua, and joined pool winners Liverpool in the next round.

The Italians went into the encounter knowing victory was a must but they found a resilient Steaua, who defended deeply and hardly threatened Napoli's goal.

The hosts enjoyed a strong start and Cavani sent out a warning in the 10th minute with his left-footed strike going over the bar.

At the other end, Romeo Surdu wasted a good chance with his effort from the heart of the area going off target.

In the 34th minute, Michele Pazienza forced Steaua goalkeeper Cristian Tatarusanu to stretch fully to clear his 20-yard strike.

On the stroke of half-time, Ricardo's header from Iasmin Latovlevici's cross was saved by Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.

Napoli controlled possession after the restart and could have gone in front in the 52nd minute.

Marek Hamsik fed Cavani inside the area and his close-range effort was kept out by Tatarusanu.

Five minutes later, Cavani's header from Christian Maggio's cross went over the bar.

Napoli continued to surge forward but struggled to get past Steaua's defensive wall and when they did, they did not find the target.

With 13 minutes remaining, Cavani nodded wide from a good position after a great cross from Zuniga.

In the 82nd minute, Cavani could not believe his bad luck when his right-footed effort from the edge of the area struck the post with Tatarusanu already beaten.

Napoli's efforts finally paid off just when it seemed they would exit the competition.

Cavani got his head to Hamsik's cross and beat Tatarusanu to bring the stadium to life and become the only Italian team to reach the next stage of the Europa League.
 
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