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Real Sociedad held by Salzburg in Champions League, still leads group

Real Sociedad Takefusa Kubo Takefusa Kubo - The Canadian Press

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) — Real Sociedad was held 0-0 at home by Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday but stayed top of Group D as Inter Milan also failed to win.

Salzburg goalkeeper Alexander Schlager’s saves denied Sociedad in a less lively game than Inter’s three-goal second-half rally for a 3-3 draw at last-place Benfica.

Sociedad and Inter both advanced to the round of 16 three weeks ago and will meet at San Siro on Dec. 12 in a match which will decide the group winner. Sociedad needs just a draw because it holds the tiebreaker over Inter on overall goal difference in the group.

Teams that top their standings are seeded in the round of 16 draw on Dec. 18 and avoid other group winners like Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Coach Imanol Alguacil was able to rest Spain internationals Robin Le Normand and Mikel Merino to face Salzburg which his team beat 2-0 in Austria last month.

Austria international Schlager saved well in the second half to deny Sociedad’s Brais Méndez, Russia midfielder Arsen Zakharyan, and Umar Sadiq.

In stoppage time, Schlager produced another leaping stop from Japan international Take Kubo’s free kick.

Salzburg hosts Benfica in two weeks’ time needing a draw to secure third place and advance to the Europa League knockout playoffs round in February. Those playoffs also are drawn on Dec. 18.


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