Soccer-Pirlo puts Juve in last eight with Benfica, Porto


(Adds later games)

March 20 (Reuters) - Andrea Pirlo kept Juventus on course for a home Europa League final after his superb free kick settled their battle with Italian rivals Fiorentina to send the Serie A leaders into the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Pirlo's dead-ball accuracy after 71 minutes, which saw him caress the ball high into the far right corner of the net, handed Juve a 1-0 win in Florence and a 2-1 aggregate success over a Fiore side who finished with 10 men.

Juve were joined in the last eight by last season's beaten finalists Benfica, Porto, Valencia, Olympique Lyon, FC Basel and AZ Alkmaar.

The tie between Real Betis and city rivals Sevilla went into extra time with the aggregate score level at 2-2.

Benfica survived a spirited fightback by Tottenham Hotspur to earn a 2-2 second-leg draw in Lisbon and go through 5-3 on aggregate while 2011 winners Porto, who sacked coach Paulo Fonseca this month, drew 2-2 at Napoli to win 3-2 on aggregate.

Ten-man Basel ended the impressive campaign of Austria's Salzburg but their 2-1 away win, after a goalless first leg, was marred by a first-half interruption of about 12 minutes after fans of the Swiss side threw objects on to the pitch. (Reporting by Justin Palmer; editing by Martyn Herman and Ken Ferris)

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