Lyon survives epic shootout to reach last four


beIN SPORTS MATCH CENTRE: Besiktas 2-1 Lyon | 3-3 on agg, Lyon wins 7-6 on penalties

Anthony Lopes and Maxime Gonalons were the spot-kick heroes as Lyon reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League after defeating Besiktas 7-6 on penalties.

Having won the opening leg 2-1 last week — a victory overshadowed by a lengthy delay because of crowd disturbances, Lyon broke Besiktas hearts on Friday (AEST) as a 7-6 penalty shootout win saw it advance to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League — Lyon was beaten by the same scoreline before keeping its cool in a penalty shootout of the highest quality at Vodafone Arena on Friday (AEST).

Thankfully there was no repeat of the ugly scenes witnessed in France and instead it is captain Gonalons and goalkeeper Lopes who will dominate the headlines after Lyon followed up Monaco's achievements in the UEFA Champions League by securing its place in the last four of Europe's secondary competition.

After 12 successful penalties, Lopes saved from Dusko Tosic, only for Christophe Jallet to blaze over. But Lopes saved again from Matej Mitrovic, allowing Gonalons to calmly convert and send Lyon through.

With a top-three finish in Ligue 1 no longer a prospect, the UEFA Europa League represents Lyon's only chance of a return to the UEFA Champions League, which could prove crucial in its ability to hold on to top scorer Alexandre Lacazette.

After Anderson Talisca had fired Besiktas ahead midway through the first half, Lacazette swiftly restored parity on the night with a sublime 31st goal of the season after a one-two with Gonalons.

Talisca's header had the tie all-square shortly before the hour-mark, while both sides hit the woodwork and spurned gilt-edged opportunities before and during extra-time, prior to the penalty drama.