Copenhagen storm past Pana
© AFP

FC Copenhagen tore into Panathinaikos at the Parken tonight, running out 3-1 winners to secure their place in the final 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Martin Vingaard put the hosts ahead in the 26th minute and from then on they were dominant, with a 50th-minute penalty from Jesper Gronkjaer and Djibril Cisse's own goal wrapping up the points, before Cedric Kante netted late on for Pana. The result ensured Copenhagen advanced from Group D in style, though Barcelona's win over Rubin Kazan meant they would have gone through regardless.

Vingaard had a decent chance for Copenhagen barely 30 seconds in but pulled his left-foot strike wide. But chances were few and far between in the early stages, with Cristian Bolanos' audacious volleyed effort following Kante's clearance, which went narrowly wide, the best either side could muster in the opening 20 minutes.

The breakthrough came, somewhat out of the blue, in the 26th minute. Bolanos played a low ball from the right in to Vingaard from 25 yards, who controlled before sending in a fairly speculative volley, which bounced awkwardly for Alexandros Tzorvas and went in. Copenhagen went close again in the 33rd minute when an inswinging corner from Oscar Wendt was headed narrowly wide by a twisting Gronkjaer. Shortly after the restart, home goalkeeper Johan Wiland dived bravely to punch the ball away from the feet of the advancing Stergos Marinos.

And moments later they were handed the opportunity to extend their lead when Nikos Spyropoulos clumsily fouled Gronkjaer in the box. Gronkjaer dusted himself down and blasted the penalty past Tzorvas. Tzorvas was called upon to tip Zdenek Pospech's long-range strike over the bar after 56 minutes, before Dame Ndoye hit the post with the goal at his mercy following a mix-up in the Pana defence. But the game was all over after 73 minutes when Cisse headed Vingaard's inswinging corner into his own net.

Wiland was forced to save from Loukas Vyntra on a rare foray forward by Pana. The Greek side grabbed a concelation goal in stoppage time when Kante headed in a free-kick from Sotiris Ninis but they were a beaten team after a UEFA Champions League campaign which has seen them take just two points.