Group J round-up
Toulouse beat Partizan Belgrade to give them hope, while Brugge fired blanks with Shakhtar Donetsk.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 03/12/09 8:22pm
Toulouse gave themselves hope of progressing to the next round of the Europa League after a crucial 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade, leaving rivals Club Brugge to sweat on their qualification hopes after a dour 0-0 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.
The result means Toulouse must win their final game against Brugge to go through. A draw would be enough for the Belgian side to make it through, who lie in second place with eight points compared to Toulouse's seven.
Toulouse - needing a win over bottom club Belgrade to keep their hopes alive - went into the match with an ambitious 4-2-3-1 formation in an attempt to secure all three points.
But they were stifled by a tough Partizan side who flooded the midfield and made life difficult for the French club.
Paulo Machado burst forward from right-back to shoot, but he was denied by Darko Bozovic.
A header from Mathieu Berson came close to breaking the deadlock as Toulouse took control.
Belgrade offered little going forward, and defender Sinisa Stevanovic had the Serbian's best chance of the half with a long-range strike.
Things were level at half-time, but the home side came flying out of the blocks in the second when Daniel Braaten fired them into a 54th minute lead.
That goal was enough for Alain Casanova's side, who travel to Brugge's Jan Breydel Stadium for the final round of matches.
Group leaders Shakhtar had the better of the opening half, Jádson going closest for the hosts.
But Brugge - in need of a win to see off the threat of Toulouse for certain - hit back and had chances of their through Wesley Sonck and Ivan Perisic.
Both sides went into the break level and did little to liven proceedings in the second half.
Shakhtar had already progressed into the next round prior to the match and they top the group with 13 points having already qualified.
Brugge, meanwhile, were left to rue missed those missed chances after Toulouse's win.