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Jose Callejon scores vital away goal for Napoli

Napoli have one hand on a spot in the Champions League group stage now.

SSC Napoli v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Napoli needed an away goal as soon as possible in their Champions League playoff match against OGC Nice in order to grab a tiebreaker and a bigger aggregate lead, and thanks to Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik, they’ve done exactly that.

That goal all but ended the tie, forcing Nice to score four times without conceding in less than a full half of football in order to advance. That’s a Herculean task given how well Napoli have defended against them so far in the tie, with even Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder having a hard time getting much of anything going against the partenopei in Tuesday’s match.

The goal was a simple turn-in finish from Callejon to the near post, but it was made simple by an inch-perfect pass from Hamsik, flashing across the face of goal and turning the keeper. Both players have looked much better today than they did a week ago, when both looked a bit out of sync with the rest of the attack, so seeing that quality rewarded with such an important goal is excellent to see.