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.
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