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Benteke keeps Villa out of trouble
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 04 - 2015

LONDON — Christian Benteke's superb hat trick rescued a potentially priceless point for Aston Villa, which twice came back from a goal down to draw 3-3 Tuesday with relegation rival Queens Park Rangers.
Benteke's free kick with seven minutes to play completed a precious treble and secured a draw that moved host Villa up to 16th, three points above the relegation zone while 18th-placed QPR's plight remains perilous.
QPR had taken the lead through Matt Phillips, before Benteke turned the match on its head with his first two goals in the opening 45 minutes.
Veteran Clint Hill leveled shortly after the break with a header and Charlie Austin snatched his 17th goal of the season to restore QPR's lead.
Benteke, however, stepped up to loft his set-piece over the wall and beyond the dive of Rob Green for his seventh goal in his last five league games to round off a pulsating encounter. “It is always nice to get a hat trick but it is shame we didn't get the three points. I think we deserved three points, we were better than them,” Benteke told the BBC.
Wolfsburg, Dortmund advance
Sebastian Kehl fired a spectacular long-distance volley in extra time to give Borussia Dortmund a 3-2 victory over Hoffenheim Tuesday and a place in the semifinals of the German Cup.
Earlier, Ricardo Rodriguez converted a second-half penalty to allow Wolfsburg to advance with a 1-0 victory over Freiburg.
Dortmund played without central defender Mats Hummels and forward star Marco Reus, both injured, but took the lead in the 19th through defender Neven Subotic.
Kevin Volland's volley from a corner in the 21st and Roberto Firmino's chip in the 29th after being gifted the ball by Subotic turned the game to Hoffenheim's favor but Dortmund came out stronger after the break.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally notched the equalizer for Dortmund with a powerful header from a cross by Eric Durm.
Both teams missed chances to win it within 90 minutes, before second-half substitute Kehl fired in the winner from 25 meters in the 107th.
Rodriguez drilled a left-footed shot from the spot inside the post in the 72nd minute, beating his Switzerland teammate and Freiburg goalkeeper Roman Buerki.
Monaco held
Monaco failed to close in on the Champions League places after drawing 0-0 at home to Montpellier Tuesday, in a match postponed earlier this year.
The Principality outfit could have gone level on points with Marseille in third, the final Champions League qualifying place, had it won at the Stade Louis II. With seven games to go, Monaco remains fourth on 55 points, two behind Marseille and seven behind leader Paris Saint-Germain. — Agencies


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