Inter, Liverpool reach Europa League group stage

Associated Press Modified: August 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm •  Published: August 30, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — Former European champions Liverpool, Inter Milan and Marseille advanced to the group stage in the Europa League on Thursday.

Liverpool needed an 88th-minute strike from Luis Suarez to avoid extra time with Hearts at Anfield. The 1-1 draw in the playoff second leg put the Reds through 2-1 on aggregate.

"The objective was to get into the group stage and we got there," Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers said.

It was tougher for Inter, which was reduced to 10 men by a 33rd-minute red card for goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi and had to rally twice to finish 2-2 with Romania's Vaslui. Inter sealed a place in Friday's draw with a 4-2 aggregate win.

Marseille drew 0-0 with Sheriff of Moldova, qualifying 2-1.

The 48-team group stage starts Sept. 20.

American Mix Diskerud scored in the 87th minute for Rosenborg in the Norwegian team's 2-1 victory over Poland's Legia Warsaw. Rosenborg advanced 3-2 on aggregate. Countryman Terrence Boyd helped Rapid Vienna advance, scoring in the 85th minute in the Austrian team's 3-0 victory over Greece's PAOK. Rapid Vienna won the two-game series 4-2.