A late strike from star striker Radamel Falcao handed Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win over Rubin Kazan in their Europa League Round of 32 second leg tie in Russia but it was not enough to save the Spanish side from crashing out.
Having come into the tie trailing by two goals following a 2-0 first leg defeat at home, The Europa League holders had it all to do against a steely Rubin outfit.
Colombia international Falcao did find a goal for the visitors with less than ten minutes remaining but a second was not forthcoming and Atletico crashed out 2-1 on aggregate.
Diego Simeone’s men showed their intent early in the clash with Falcao needing less than three minutes to test Sergey Ryzhikov.
Rubin were happy to sit back and absorb the pressure and they did so well for most of the match following the early scare.
With the half wearing on the home side had a chance to put the tie well beyond their opponents but Roman Eremenko shot straight at Sergio Asenjo.
Oleg Kuzmin hacked a deflected shot off the Rubin line and the resultant corner was headed straight at the keeper as the interval approached, but otherwise Ryzhikov’s goal was relatively untroubled.
The Spanish outfit continued to apply pressure in the second half but were mostly limited to shots from range whilst at the other end as Rondon had his shot saved after running clear of the defence.
With only seven minutes of regular time remaining Falcao grabbed his team a lifeline as he coolly slid the ball under the body of the keeper.
In the 89th minute Cesar Navas was sent off late on for a tough tackle on Falcao but having an extra man made no difference for Atletico as their host held out to qualify for the Round of 16.