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Football: Higuain, Inler rescue Napoli from battling Swans

Published on Feb 28, 2014 6:26 AM
Napoli's French and Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring during the Uefa Europa League round of 32 second leg football match between SSC Napoli and Swansea City AFC in San Paolo Stadium on Feb 27, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

NAPLES, Italy (AFP) - Late goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Gokhan Inler allowed unconvincing Napoli to run out 3-1 winners against a battling Swansea City and book their ticket for the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday.

Napoli sit third in Serie A but have slipped virtually out of contention for the league title and a series of mediocre performances, including last week's scoreless draw in the first leg in Wales, have placed question marks over Rafael Benitez's side.

But after Jonathan De Guzman levelled Lorenzo Insigne's 17th-minute opener, Higuain gave the hosts a 78th-minute lead before Inler settled some late nerves with Napoli's third deep in injury time.

Napoli will now meet Porto in the last 16 and Higuain, who scored his first goal in the competition after hitting four in the Champions League, told Mediaset: "We knew it would be a difficult match and after their equaliser it didn't get any easier.

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