COPENHAGEN (AFP) - FC Copenhagen became the first Danish club to reach the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday after they outclassed Greek side Panathinaikos 3-1.
Goals by Martin Vingard, a penalty by 33-year-old veteran Jesper Gronkjaer and an own goal by former Liverpool misfit Djibril Cisse eased the Danish side into the last 16. Cedric Kante grabbed a consolation goal in time added on.
Defeat saw the Greeks finish rock bottom of Group D with a paltry return of two goals and two points from their six matches.
Thankfully the hosts never gave their Norwegian manager Stale Solbakken much cause for concern -- the 42-year-old former international midfielder has had a pacemaker for the past decade after suffering a heart attack.
The hosts took a firm grip on the match and a place in the knockout stages in the 26th minute when, from outside the penalty area, Vingaard rifled home Christian Bolanos's pass, giving visiting goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas no chance.
Tzorvas, Greece's first choice 'keeper at the World Cup finals, proved equal to the task 10 minutes later when he got down smartly to save from Claudimir.
The visitors, who have had a catastrophic campaign scoring just once as their mix of international journeymen -- such as Djibril Cisse and Sidney Govou -- and local players have failed to sparkle, managed just one shot in the opening 45 minutes, right on the half-time whistle.
However, the shot by Stergos Marinos, a replacement for the reportedly Govou, was easily gathered by Johan Wiland.
The hosts doubled their lead in deserved fashion in the 50th minute when veteran Gronkjaer converted from the penalty spot after the 33-year-old had been sent tumbling in the penalty area by Greek international defender Nikos Spyropoulos.
The visitors' abject performance was summed up when Cisse found the net in the 73rd minute. Unfortunately for the Frenchman it was into his own one after he sliced an attempted clearance from a corner beyond the unfortunate Tzorvas.
|Suarez enjoying Messi, Neymar link-up|
|A-League Review: Garcia rescues point for Perth, Adelaide up to second|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Van Gaal rules out Januzaj move|
|Rodgers: Balotelli may have to get used to bench|
|Lallana: I was trying too hard|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|