Wolfsburg 3 - 2 Portsmouth

Zvjezdan Misimović took full advantage of a momentary lapse by Portsmouth FC goalkeeper David James as VfL Wolfsburg sealed their place in the UEFA Cup Round of 32 at the English side's expense.

The Bosnia-Herzegovnian international dispossessed the goalkeeper when James attempted to dribble the ball around him near the penalty spot to put Wolfsburg 3-2 up after 74 minutes. Although the custodian made some amends by denying the same player from the penalty spot five minutes later, the die was cast, with Portsmouth's maiden European campaign being brought to a premature end.

Wolfsburg went ahead in the third minute when Christian Gentner showed neat skill on the right and crossed low for Edin Džeko to flick home from close range. The visitors equalised after eleven minutes, however, as Armand Traoré surged down the left and clipped in a cross that goalkeeper Diego Benaglio could palm only to Jermain Defoe, whose scuffed effort crept over the line.

Tony Adams's men took the lead three minutes later when Arnold Mvuemba placed a shot into the corner of the net from 18 metres with the help of a deflection. However, the match was level again in the 23rd minute, with Gentner's low centre from the left evading everybody and going straight into the net, though there was still time for James to save from Misimović before the break.

Niko Kranjčar came close to restoring Portsmouth's advantage as his free-kick thudded into the crossbar, yet James handed Wolfsburg their third goal, and though he kept out Misimović's spot-kick after Sol Campbell's foul on Džeko, SC Braga's win at SC Heerenveen ensured that Pompey's Matchday 5 game against the Dutch club will be a dead rubber.

See the highlight;



Aston Villa 1 - 2 Zilina

MŠK Žilina claimed a famous victory away to Aston Villa FC but it was not enough to keep their UEFA Cup hopes alive, while the home side progressed to the Round of 32 despite the defeat.

Two goals inside four minutes by Vladimír Leitner and Peter Štyvar set the Slovakian team on their way and although 17-year-old Nathan Delfouneso got one back for a largely second-string Villa side, the Premier League club could not draw level despite plenty of second-half pressure. Leitner was even sent off for Žilina who picked up their first win in the section at the fourth attempt.

Villa had won their previous two Group F games and started in confident mood, Zat Knight heading Ashley Young's corner firmly towards goal only for visiting keeper Dušan Perniš to tip over. However, Žilina struck first after 16 minutes when Leitner cut in from the left and curled in a cross that evaded both Knight and home custodian Brad Guzan to nestle in the far corner.

Within three minutes the visitors had doubled their lead. Štyvar was the scorer, side-footing in after a flowing move involving Adauto Da Silva and Peter Pekarík. The home faithful were stunned, but Villa responded and cut their deficit before the half-hour mark. Knight's long ball was chested down by Marlon Harewood and Delfouneso pounced to volley in low from just outside the area.

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Valencia 1 - 1 Club Brugge

Nikola Žigić struck to take Valencia CF through to the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, with his headed effort ensuring Unai Emery's side can finish no lower than third in Group G.

The Serbia forward headed Valencia's equaliser on the hour after a similarly dispatched goal from Antolin Alcaraz had put Club Brugge KV in front at the Mestalla Stadium. The 2003/04 UEFA Cup winners fielded some fringe players, and while they rarely looked comfortable against Jacky Matthijssen's men, the 1-1 draw proved sufficient to secure their place in the next stage of the competition.

Club Brugge took the lead after 18 minutes, with Ronald Vargas dinking a free-kick into the area and Alcaraz, having escaped his marker, beating Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to the ball to nod into an empty net, before colliding heavily with the on-rushing custodian. The Paraguayan needed treatment, but his goal helped keep his team on top until the interval.

Vargas almost doubled the visitors' advantage ten minutes after the break, getting in behind the Valencia back line to test Guaita with a powerful shot, while the rebound looped over Karel Geraerts's head with the home goal gaping. However, Valencia made the most of their good fortune as the tall Žigić outmuscled two defenders to head home from Hugo Viana's outswinging corner. UEFA


Full results;
Group A
FC Twente Enschede 2 - 1 Schalke
Manchester City 0 - 0 Paris S.G.

Group B
Hertha BSC 0 - 1 Galatasaray
Metalist Kharkiv 1 - 0 Olympiakos Piraeus

Group C
Sevilla 3 - 0 Partizan Belgrade
Standard Liege 3 - 0 Sampdoria

Group D
Spartak Moscow 1 - 2 NEC Nijmegen
Udinese 2 - 1 Dinamo Zagreb

Group E
SC Heerenveen 1 - 2 Braga
Wolfsburg 3 - 2 Portsmouth

Group F
Aston Villa 1 - 2 Zilina
Slavia Prague 0 - 2 Hamburger SV

Group G
FC Copenhagen 1 - 1 Rosenborg
Valencia 1 - 1 Club Brugge

Group H
Lech Poznan 1 - 1 Deportivo La Coruna
Nancy 3 - 4 CSKA Moscow

1 comments

  1. Juan y Fer  

    December 6, 2008 at 3:20 AM

    Hello,
    Valencia played horrible, although wihtout David Villa and Mata is normal to play bad.
    Regards,

    http://saqueneutral.blogspot.com/
    (a blog about sport in English and Español)

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