Rashford steers Man United into Europa League semifinals
By STEVE DOUGLAS
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Teenage striker Marcus Rashford enhanced his burgeoning reputation by steering Manchester United into the Europa League semifinals with a coolly taken extra-time winner against Anderlecht on Thursday.
Switched from the wing to center forward for extra time after a serious-looking injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rashford turned two defenders and slotted home a shot in the 107th minute to give United a 2-1 win over the Belgian champion at Old Trafford.
United advanced 3-2 on aggregate as the English club looks to win Europe's second-tier competition for the first time.
The Europa League was the competition in which Rashford made his senior breakthrough last season, scoring twice on debut against FC Midtjylland as an 18-year-old unknown. He's now an England international and one of the hottest prospects in European soccer.
Rashford might have to step up as United's chief striker for the last month of the season after Ibrahimovic hobbled off after hyperextending his right knee on landing, having chested down a long ball into the area. The Swedish striker looked in pain and held his head in his hands.
United was joined in the semifinals by Celta Vigo, which ousted Genk 4-3 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in the second leg, and Ajax, which needed extra time to see off Schalke and reach a first European semifinal in 20 years.
Lyon completed the last-four lineup by beating Besiktas 7-6 in a penalty shootout. The game finished 2-1 to Besiktas after extra time, for 3-3 on aggregate.
The draw for the semifinals takes place on Friday.
Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80
Updated April 20, 2017