Deportivo qualify for fourth year

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The Independent Football

Albert Luque found success in the 16th minute to give Deportivo de La Coruña a 1-0 win over Rosenborg on Tuesday night sending the Spanish club into the group stage of the Champions' League.

Luque's match-winner, which led Deportivo to a 1-0 aggregate victory, came from a powerful left-footed shot at the edge of the penalty box, and crowned a sweeping move from inside Rosenborg's half.

It means Deportivo have qualified for the group stages of the competition in each of the last four years, emulating their illustrious compatriots Real Madrid.

The Spanish international midfielder Juan Carlos Valeron came close to doubling Deportivo's lead in the 27th minute and three minutes later the striker Diego Tristan drew a yellow card for faking a penalty.

Luque got off another shot in the 45th, but it sailed high over the Norwegian goalkeeper Espen Johnsen as Deportivo continued to dominate the game.

The midfielder Victor Sanchez had a chance just after the break, but his effort was weak and five minutes later Johnsen just managed to stop another blazing shot from Luque.

In the closing stages, Deportivo grew increasingly nervous as the Norwegian team mounted a series of attacks. The Rosenborg midfielder Roar Strand forced goalkeeper Jose Francisco Molina into a good save 10 minutes from time.

Karel Poborsky scored again as Sparta Prague sneaked through to the group stage with a 2-2 draw against Vardar Skopje of Macedonia. The draw gave the Czech champions a 5-4 aggregate victory.

Sparta were indebted to the former Manchester United midfielder for two goals, including an 89th-minute winner, in their 3-2 first-leg win in Macedonia two weeks ago. He steadied Sparta's nerves again on Tuesday by cancelling out Slavco Georgievski's opener against the run of play.

Blessing Chinedu Anyanviu put Vardar 2-1 up in the 67th minute, but substitute Libor Sionko pulled Sparta back level.

Anderlecht booked their place in the group phase with a late goal by Aruna Dindane earning them a 1-0 win against Wisla Krakow.

The Belgian side, who had won the first leg 3-1 in Brussels two weeks ago, were in control throughout, but it was not until the 84th minute that the striker from the Ivory Coast broke the deadlock.