Football: Reus powers Dortmund, Saints crash in Europa League

Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus celebrates his team's 7-2 victory against Odds BK on Aug 27, 2015.
Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus celebrates his team's 7-2 victory against Odds BK on Aug 27, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Marcos Reus scored a hat-trick as Borussia Dortmund cruised into the Europa League group stage on Thursday with Athletic Bilbao and Ajax also advancing alongside Azerbaijani clubs Qarabag and Gabala.

English side Southampton, meanwhile, crashed at the first hurdle and will not be involved in Friday's group draw in Monaco.

Dortmund went on a goal spree in Germany to continue their dream start to the season under new coach Thomas Tuchel with Reus in unstoppable form in a 7-2 rout - 11-5 on aggregate - over Norwegian side Odds BK.

Ole Jorgen Halvorsen had put the Norwegians ahead after 19 minutes but six minutes later Henrikh Mikhiaryan levelled, with Reus scoring two goals in five minutes and a third after the break with Ilkay Gundogan and a Shinji Kagawa double giving the Bundesliga outfit a seventh win in all competitions under Tuchel.

Dortmund had already pulled off a remarkable 4-3 comeback win from three goals down after 22 minutes a week ago in Norway.

Southampton failed in their bid to join Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the group stage, falling behind following a 28th-minute goal from former Celtic striker Morten Rasmussen which send Danish champions FC Midtjylland through 2-1 on aggregate.

Ronald Koeman's side were unable to break through under heavy rain at the CH Arena with a sloppy Jay Rodriguez pass allowing Rasmussen slot in the decider as Saints rued Jose Fonte's header cleared in the opening minutes.

In Bilbao, Athletic turned around a 3-2 loss at Slovak side MSK Zilina with a first-half goal from Gorka Elustondo giving the beaten 2012 finalists a 1-0 win on the night, 3-3 on aggregate and victory on away goals.

The win is a boost for Ernesto Valverde's side following a loss in their opening match of La Liga, falling 1-0 at home to Barcelona last weekend.

In Istanbul, Fenerbahce earned a 3-0 win over Greek side Atromitos with a double from Brazilian Fernandao in either half with Greek goalkeeper Andrei Gorunov spilling a goal into his own net after 59 minutes.

It gave the 2013 semi-finalists a 4-0 aggregate win having an away-goal advantage after Robin van Persie scored his first goal for the club since joining the Turkish club from Manchester United last month.

Dutch giants Ajax advanced 1-0 on aggregate following a goalless draw at Czech minnows Jablonec. Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen saved a penalty and Frank de Boer's side played the last half an hour with ten men after Dutch teenage midfielder Riechedly Bazoer was sent off for a second yellow card.

Azerbaijan have two teams through with Qarabag and Gabala both advancing at the expense of Swiss club Young Boys and Greek club Panathinaïkos respectively.