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Football: Costa late show gives Atletico precious win over AC Milan

Published on Feb 20, 2014 6:21 AM
Atletico Madrid's Brazilian forward Diego da Silva Costa (right) makes a bicycle kick during the Champions League match between AC Milan and Atletico Madrid, on Feb 19, 2014 at San Siro Stadium in Milan. He headed home much later in the game to seal a 1-0 win. -- PHOTO: AFP

MILAN (AFP) - Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa headed home late on to seal a 1-0 win over AC Milan on Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014, and give a huge boost to the Spaniards' hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Milan had kept Diego Simeone's side on a tight leash throughout a thrilling encounter at the San Siro, but after missing three golden chances to take a first-half lead, the hosts were stunned in the 83rd minute when Costa rose to head inside Christian Abbiati's near post following a corner.

Atletico, currently joint top of the Spanish top flight, will now fancy their chances of qualifying for the last eight of the competition for the first time since 1997 when the sides meet at the Vicente Calderon in a fortnight.

The visitors started crisply, stringing passes together with apparent ease and Costa holding off challenges to give Milan an early reminder of their current form.

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