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Maribor 1 Sevilla 1: Handanovic howler gifts Spaniards a point

Maribor 1 Sevilla 1: Handanovic howler gifts Spaniards a point

Sevilla will join Group E winners Liverpool in progressing to the Champions League knockout phase despite an underwhelming 1-1 draw at Maribor, in which substitute Ganso spared the visitors' blushes.

The Spanish side knew that a draw would be enough to guarantee their passage ahead of Spartak Moscow, who were duly hammered 7-0 by Liverpool, but they produced a largely toothless display that will not strike much fear into the other teams who have progressed.

Possession was not a problem as Sevilla dominated the ball for most of the match, but they looked devoid of ideas in the final third and rarely threatened to cancel out Marcos Tavares' well-taken 10th-minute opener.

Although they made a slight improvement after the break, clear chances remained at a premium for Sevilla, predominantly down to Maribor's excellent rearguard action.

Maribor were ultimately let down by a goalkeeping howler from Jasmin Handanovic, however, with second-half substitute Ganso taking full advantage.

The hosts had to withstand significant pressure towards the end, but Sevilla failed to find another way through and were made to settle for a draw, meaning they head through to the last 16 with nine points.

Sevilla immediately took charge of possession in Slovenia, but the hosts made more effective use of their time on the ball and went ahead in the 10th minute.

Martin Milec did brilliantly on the right flank, getting into the penalty area and crossing to the back post, where Tavares was waiting to nod in past the helpless Sergio Rico.

The visitors continued to dominate the ball, though they failed to find a way through Maribor's packed defence, with Ever Banega's long-range effort – which Handanovic saved with ease – showing their frustration in the 27th minute.

Maribor went close to scoring a second as Damjan Bohar forced Rico into action from the left side of the area with Sevilla caught short of numbers at the back.

And another chance fell to Tavares just before the break, but on this occasion he flashed a first-time effort just wide of the top-left corner after meeting Gregor Bajde's pass 12 yards out.

Sevilla played with a renewed sense of urgency upon the restart and almost levelled within three minutes - Handanovic parrying a Banega effort straight to Pablo Sarabia, before making amends by pushing the Spaniard's rebound around the post.

Attacks came thick and fast from the away side, but still they had trouble crafting clear chances, with Sergio Escudero's long-range effort just before the hour mark the next effort to trouble Handanovic.

Ernesto Marucci - in the dugout for Sevilla as Eduardo Berizzo continues his cancer recovery - opted to bring on Brazilian playmaker Ganso shortly after the hour and he ultimately made a telling difference 15 minutes from time.

After good work from Joaquin Correa, the ball dropped kindly to Ganso 25 yards from goal and his controlled effort inexplicably found its way under Handanovic and into the net.