Ilicic scores four, Atalanta advances past Valencia

UEFA Champions League
Photo by -/POOL UEFA/AFP via Getty Images
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Atalanta negotiated Valencia and an empty Mestalla Stadium in Spain on Tuesday to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals with a 4-3 second-leg win and 8-4 aggregate score line.

La Dea entered with a 4-1 advantage and got four goals from Josip Ilicic in the second leg. They qualify for the quarterfinals for the first time in its history.

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Ilicic converted a third-minute penalty to insure its lead, though Kevin Gameiro leveled the leg 18 minutes later.

Ilicic added a second penalty before the break. He scored five goals over the two legs.

Gameiro got his second off a Ferran Torres feed in the 51st minute, but Valencia needed four more goals.

The La Liga mainstay got a Torres goal with 23 minutes to play, but that was it for the comeback bid thanks to Ilicic completing his hat trick in the 71st minute.