Tuesday, March 30, 2004 

International Friendly Preview: Portugal - Italy



While Wednesday's encounter between Portugal and Italy is being billed as a "friendly" match, it's no secret that this contest will be a serious test for both nations ahead of Euro 2004.

Both sides are eyeing the prize at this summer's big tournament and a win for either side on Wednesday will be a huge boost of confidence.

Furthermore, these two nations could potentially face off in the quarterfinals of the tournament should one side finish first and the other end up in second in their respective groups.

If history is an indicator, than Italy have nothing to worry about as they have dominated this rivalry. In 22 matches with the Portuguese, Italy has 16 wins, 2 draws and just 4 losses. During these 22 matches, Italy has outscored Portugal 46 to 19.

Their last meeting was on February 12, 2003 in Genova where Italy won 1-0. This time around, the match is being played in Portugal for the first time since 1993 when Italy won 3-1.

Team News:

Portugal:
Newcastle's midfielder Hugo Viana has been dropped from the squad and is considered a long shot to make the team for Euro 2004.

Tottenham's Helder Postiga is on the verge of being axed from the squad and this could be his last chance to shine for Portugal.

Porto's Vitor Baia and Maniche continue to get snubbed by Scolari, same goes for Stuttgart's Fernando Meira.

Nuno Gomes makes a return to the international fold, after his two-goal display in Benfica's 4-3 loss to Inter in the UEFA Cup on Thursday.

Fernando Couto, Deco, Petit, Rui Jorge and Tiago have all been training separately from the rest of the squad because of minor injury problems and are all doubtful starters for Wednesday's match.

Italy:
Trapattoni is without three of his first choice players as AC Milan's Alessandro Nesta, Inter Milan's Fabio Cannavaro and Juventus' Gianluca Zambrotta are all injured.

Look for Parma's promising Matteo Ferrari and Inter's Daniele Adani to start in the center of back line with AC Milan's Giuseppe Pancaro to take over from Zambrotta at left back.

Lazio's Giuseppe Favalli, who has not played for Italy since 1998, and Parma's Marcello Castellini are some of the surprises in Italy's 22-man squad announced on Sunday.

Juventus' striker Marco Di Vaio will pair up with Vieri in attack in what should be a formidable partnership.

Probable Starting Lineups:

Portugal: Ricardo; Paulo Ferreira, Fernando Couto, Jorge Andrade, Rui Jorge; Costinha, Petit, Rui Costa, Luis Figo, Simao Sabrosa; Pauleta

Italy: Buffon; Panucci, Ferrari, Adani, Pancaro; Gattuso, Pirlo, Camoranesi; Totti, Di Vaio, Vieri

Source: Soccerage

 

Top European Leagues Review



Arsenal FC set a new English record of 30 matches without defeat since the start of a top-flight season on Sunday by drawing 1-1 against Manchester United FC. The leaders in Italy and Germany also drew on a weekend where the top two in Spain and France broke further away.

England
Having seen their lead cut to seven points by Chelsea FC - who beat Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 5-2 on Saturday, thanks largely to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's hat-trick - Arsenal increased their advantage at the Premiership summit to eight at Highbury yesterday by drawing with the champions. The Londoners were on course for maximum points when Thierry Henry shot them in front in spectacular fashion, only for substitute Louis Saha to equalise in the 86th minute. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said of Arsenal: "I think they will go on and win the league now. I'm sure of that. They're playing with great determination." The battle for fourth place remains intense: Liverpool FC are in pole position after they drew 0-0 at Leicester City FC yesterday and Newcastle United FC lost at Bolton Wanderers FC. Birmingham City FC, Aston Villa FC and Charlton Athletic FC, however, are all within three points with eight games left.

Italy

In Italy, an Andriy Shevchenko header seven minutes into added time salvaged a 2-2 draw for AC Milan against AC Chievo Verona at the San Siro. Goals from Giuseppe Sculli and Simone Perrotta had put Chievo on course to become only the second team to beat the leaders in Serie A this season, only for Andrea Pirlo and Shevchenko to level. AS Roma's 2-1 home defeat by Bologna FC allowed Juventus FC to move second with a 3-1 victory against Modena FC.

Germany

Milan are nine points clear of Juve, the same tally by which SV Werder Bremen lead FC Bayern München in Germany. Bremen were in devastating attacking form at VfB Stuttgart, plundering four goal against the meanest defence in the Bundesliga, only to concede four themselves, with Marcelo Bordon scoring three of them. "I think everybody won today," said Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf. Bayern maintained their slender title hopes by beating VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-2 on Saturday.

Spain~

It is much closer in Spain, where Vicente Rodríguez scored twice and made another as Valencia CF beat Real Racing Club Santander 3-0 to temporarily reside at the top of the Primera División. However, it was business as usual later on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabéu as Real Madrid CF beat Sevilla FC 5-1. Ronaldo scored two and Santiago Solari, Zinedine Zidane, Michel Salgado the others as Madrid climbed to 63 points, one more than Valencia. With FC Barcelona's game at Real Betis Balompié postponed because of torrential rain in Seville, RC Deportivo La Coruña took advantage to claim third place - eight points behind Madrid - with a 2-1 win against Real Sociedad de Fútbol. UEFA Cup hopefuls Villarreal CF were held to a goalless draw at home by Club Atlético de Madrid, who moved fifth.

France

Ligue 1 challengers Olympique Lyonnais and AS Monaco FC both picked up 1-0 victories as the race for the French championship intensified at the weekend. Giovane Elber scored the only goal for Lyon at OGC Nice, while Dado Pršo did likewise for Monaco against the bottom club Le Mans UC 72. Both clubs have 63 points, six more than Paris Saint-Germain FC who saw their chances of silverware dealt a huge blow by an away loss at RC Lens.

Source: Uefa.com

Monday, March 29, 2004 

League Standings



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Porto 27 71
2. Sporting 28 64
3. Benfica 28 60
4. Braga 28 47
5. Nacional 27 46
...
9. Beira-Mar 28 36
...
18 . Est. Amadora 28 13



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Lyon 30 63
2. Monaco 30 63
3. PSG 30 57
4. Sochaux 30 53
5. Auxerre 30 50



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Ajax 27 65
2. PSV 27 53
3. Feyenoord 27 52
4. Alkmaar 27 49
5. Heerenveen 27 48
...
8. Utrecht 27 49



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Fenerbahçe 27 63
2. Besikats 27 57
3. Trabzonspor 27 56
4. Denizlispor 27 48
5. Gaziantepspor 27 45



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Bremen 26 62
2. Bayern 26 53
3. Stuttgart 26 48
4. Leverkusen 26 45
5. Bochum 26 42
...
8. Hamburg 26 36



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Anderlecht 27 68
2. Club Brugge 27 55
3. Standard Liege 27 51
4. Mouscron 27 49
5. Genk 27 44



Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Real Madrid 30 64
2. Valencia 30 63
3. Deportivo 30 56
4. Barcelona 29 55
5. Atlético 30 45
...
7. Athletic 30 44




Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Milan 27 68
2. Juventus 27 59
3. Roma 26 57
4. Lazio 26 44
5. Parma 27 44
...
6. Inter 27 43


Torneo Clausura

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Talleres 7 19
2. Boca Jrs 6 14
3. River Plate 7 13
4. Racing 7 13
5. Colón 7 13


Campeonato Carioca

Taça Rio

Semi-finals

Fluminense 3-1 Americano
Vasco 1-1 Friburgense (5-4 pen)

 

SPORTING WINS ON A POOR MATCH




On Saturday, second-placed Sporting Clube de Portugal bounced back from last week's shock 4-0 defeat by Rio Ave FC, edging out FC Paços de Ferreira 1-0 thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Liédson. Both Cadú, for the visitors, and Ánderson Polga, for the hosts, were sent off in a fiercely-contested encounter.
The match was a poor one and the visitor Paços de Ferreira had several chances to win the game.
This Sporting seems the worst of the all season. The second place and the acess for the Uefa Champions League are on serious risk.

Sporting, 1 - P. Ferreira, 0


Location: Estádio José Alvalade
Referee: Elmano Santos
Assistants: Sérgio Serrão e Cotílio Rodrigues

Sporting: Ricardo, Rui Jorge, Polga, Beto, Miguel Garcia, Custódio (Lourenço, 60m), Pedro Barbosa (Niculae, 77m), Tinga, João Pinto, Liedson e Silva (Clayton, 75m),
Coach: Fernando Santos
Substitutes: Nelson, Quiroga, Paulo Bento e Rui Bento
Cards:Yellow Card a Polga (15m e 67m), Rui Jorge (44m), João Pinto (90m) e Clayton (90m); Red Card Polga (67m)
Goal: Liedson (88m)

Paços de Ferreira: Pedro, Luís Miguel, Geraldo, Paulo Sousa, Manduca (Ricardo André, 65m), Zé Manel, Pedrinha (Fernando Gaúcho, 90m), Cadú, Ricardo Esteves, Júnior (Filó, 77m) e Beto
Coach: José Mota
Substitutes: Batista, Rui Miguel, Puntas e Rocardinho
Cards: Yellow Card Geraldo (9m), Júnior (25m), Manduca (40m), Beto (80m) e Zé Manel (90m); Red Card Cadú (63m)

 

Betis game rained off



A three hour deluge proved just too much for the Ruiz de Lopera pitch and referee Vicente José Lizondo Cortés decided to call the match off.

Home team officials claimed Betis would have preferrred to play the game, as they reckoned the pitch was playable, but Barca did not wish to go ahead. Both teams waited till 19.20 before a final decision was taken following the ref's pitch inspection.

The game has been rearranged for April 14th .

Source: FCbarcelona.com

 

FC Volendam 1 - 2 FC Utrecht

VS

FC Utrecht: Ponk, Keller, Zwaanswijk, Schut, Shew Atjon, Zuidam, De Jong, Broerse, Braafheid (83. Chaiat), De Groot (68. Leitoe), Van de Haar (87. Kruijs)

FC Volendam: Verhoeven, Koning, Kras, Breinburg, Tevreden, Salden (84. Faria), Bridji, Woudenberg, Buijs, Tuyp, Steur

Goals: 51. Tuyp 1-0; 61. Keller 1-1; 72. Kras (e.d.) 1-2

 

Lens 1 - 0 PSG



Lens : Itandje - Assou Ekotto, Adama Coulibaly, Bak, Barul - Diagne-Faye, Coridon, Saar - Moreira (Bakari, 82e), Utaka, Thomert (Keita, 89e). Entr. : Muller.

PSG : Alonzo - Cubilier, Pierre-Fanfan, Déhu, El Karkouri - M'Bami (Benachour, 84e), Boskovic (Djadjedje, 71e), Fiorèse (Touré, 86e), Cana - Pauleta, Ljuboja. Entr. : Halilhodzic.

Goal: Coridon (32e) for Lens

 

Benfica 2 - 0 Alverca



Third-placed SL Benfica, knocked out of the UEFA Cup by FC Internazionale in midweek, made light work of Alverca Futebol SAD in the late game on Sunday, winning 2-0 after goals from Tomislav Sokota and Luizão.

Goals: Sokota 8´; Luizão 16´

Sunday, March 28, 2004 

Bundesliga round 26: HSV 3 - 2 Kaiserslautern

HSV put any worries of possible relegation behind them this evening, with a well-deserved 3-2 home win against over Kaiserslautern, who now have to win four of their remaining eight matches to stay in the Bundesliga, according to their Coach Kurt Jara, who returned to the AOL Arena for the first time since his dismissal in October of last year.

Klaus Toppmöller as expected changed his team which lost 0-3 in Gladbach last time out. In came Romeo and Mahdavikia in to the attack, at the back, Bastian Reinhardt replaced Collin Benjamin who wasn't even in the squad. Vyacheslav Hleb, who made his full debut in Gladbach, was on the bench for the Lautern match. The visitors started at a furious pace. On 17 minutes they were unlucky not to take the lead, as a Hristov header hit the crossbar, with Wächter well beaten. On 26 minutes HSV had their first chance, as Romeo headed narrowly wide.

Four minutes later the home side took the lead. A free kick taken by Rahn just outside the area was deflected by Lucien Mettomo past Tim Wiese, who had no chance of stopping the ball. Lautern tried to get back into the game by playing long balls up to Hristov and Klose, without much success. Just before half time Sergej Barbarez had an opportunity to double HSV's lead, but reached a glancing header by Reinhardt a stride too late.

HSV came out for the second half and struck again a minute after the re-start. Barbarez played a fine ball to Rahn down the wing. He reached the by-line before putting in a cross which was so accurate, that Bernardo Romeo only had to stick his foot out for his 11th goal of the season. The HSV fans got behind the side like never before this season. The 41,020 were in good voice as Lautern struck out of the blue. Good work by Drescher found Klose in the box. The German international finished well with the home defence in disarray. Lautern continued to press but without much effect.

Toppmöller brought on Takahara for Barbarez and on 70 minutes the "Sushi-Bomber" brought Rahn into play with a sweet pass down the left wing. Rahn strolled into the left side of the area and to everyone's surprise, blasted a shot into the net off the underside of the crossbar, which was probably still vibrating ten minutes afterwards! Lautern to their credit never gave up and scored again through Hristov 11 minutes from time, but in all honesty they never looked likely to take a point from a match which on the balance of play, HSV thoroughly deserved to win. Kurt Jara said after the match that he spent two wonderful years in Hamburg, and sincerely hoped that he would be back with Lautern next year. The victory over Lautern was HSV's 400th league win in their long history.

HSV: Wächter - Wicky (73. Schlicke), Hoogma, Ujfalusi, Hollerbach - Mahdavikia, Jarolim (89. Fukal), Reinhardt, Rahn - Romeo, Barbarez (63. Takahara)

Kaiserslautern: Wiese - Mettomo, Wenzel, Drescher - Riedl, Lehmann, Bjelica, Nurmela (55. Altintop), Malz (72. Vreven) - Klose (62. Dominguez), Hristov

Goals: 1:0 Rahn (30.), 2:0 Romeo (46.), 2:1 Klose (53.), 3:1 Rahn (70.), 3:2 Hristov (79.)

Source: HSV.de

 

Nerazzuri victorious in Reggio (Reggina 0 - Inter 2)

Bonazzoli in desperation after the own goal

REGGIO CALABRIA - The Nerazzurri saw off a gritty Reggina side at the Oreste Granillo on Sunday afternoon to win 2-0 and keep their sights on the Serie A fourth spot.

Zaccheroni's men went into the half-time break with a one-goal lead after Bonazzoli anticipated Cordoba to Recoba's right-wing cross then headed into his own net at the near post.

Adriano added the second in additional time at the end of the ninety, capitalising on a moment of defensive madness by Belardi and Torrisi to smash the ball into an open goal.

Inter's next match is the 'derby d'Italia' at home to Juventus at 20:30 on Sunday 4 April.

Match facts:
Scorers: Bonazzoli (o.g.) 41', Adriano 90'+3'
Booked: C.Zanetti 24', Paredes 37', Cordoba 45'+3', Pasquale 58', Farinos 90'+2'
Referee: Pasquale Rodomonti

REGGINA: 1 Belardi, 2 Comotto (3 Falsini 56'), 5 Paredes, 8 Bonazzoli (7 Stellone 83'), 14 Franceschini, 17 Di Michele, 19 Tedesco (22 Mozart 65'), 20 Mesto, 21 Torrisi, 25 Jiranek, 35 Cozza
Subs not used: 23 Coppola, 4 Baiocco, 10 Nakamura, 18 Sottil
Coach: Giancarlo Camolese

INTER: 1 Toldo, 2 Cordoba, 4 J. Zanetti , 6 C.Zanetti, 10 Adriano, 11 Stankovic (22 Okan 80'), 15 Adani, 20 Recoba (14 Farinos 65'), 24 Gamarra, 26 Pasquale, 29 Biava, 30 Martins (9 Cruz 86')
Subs not used: 71 Cordaz, 18 Kily Gonzalez, 29 Biava, 31 Brechet
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni

 

Willem II 3 - 1 PSV



Injury-hit PSV, without the suspended Mark van Bommel and John de Jong, fell behind when Tom Caluwe opened the scoring eleven minutes into the second period. The Eindhoven side were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Kevin Hofland in the 73rd minute and Bart van den Eede swiftly doubled the lead. Swiss youngster Johan Vonlanthen pulled one back six minutes later but Van den Eede was on target again in injury time to seal PSV's fifth defeat in their past eight matches.

Goals: 57 Caluwé (1-0); 75 Van Den Eede (2-0); 77 Vonlanthen (2-1); 90 Van Den Eede (3-1)

Source: PSV.nl

 

AC Milan 2-2 Chievo Verona



Milan came back from a two first half goals from Chievo, to avoyed a shock home defeat at the hands of the team from Verona. With two goals in the last minutes of the match, Milan grabbed a point, and Shevchenko reached 20 goals in the league.

MILAN: Dida, Cafu, Costacurta, Maldini, Pancaro, Gattuso (Ambrosini, 66'), Pirlo, Seedorf (Rui Costa, 46'), Kakà, Inzaghi, Tomasson (Shevchenko, 46').

CHIEVO: Marchegiani, Moro, Barzaghi, D'Anna, Lanna, Semioli, Perrotta, Baronio (Morrone, 87'), Luciano (Malagò, 64'), Cossato, Sculli (Pellisier, 79').

GOALS: 0-1, Sculli (22'); 0-2, Perrotta (39'); 1-2, Pirlo (80'); 2-2, Shevchenko (95').

 

E. Amadora 0 - 1 SP. Braga (Derby United)



E. AMADORA – Veiga; Paulo Madeira (Rui Neves, 65 m)), Hugo Carreira e Marcos; Semedo, Rogério, Juba, Davide e Wesnalton; Alex Garcia (Júlio César, 46 m) e Miran (Litera, 65 m).

SP. BRAGA – Quim; Pedro Costa, Maurício, Nem (Artur Jorge, 46 m)) e Kenedy; Vanzini e Soderstrom; Paulo Sérgio, Nikolov (Wooter, 46 m) e Wender; Igor (Foley, 64 m).

Goal: 0-1 por Foley (86 m)

 

Eriksson commits to England



England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson has ended speculation over his future by signing a new contract keeping him in the job until UEFA EURO 2008™.

New deal
Eriksson was already committed to the Football Association (FA) until 2006, but reports in England have linked him to a return to club management, most specifically at Chelsea FC. But the Swedish coach, who took over in early 2001 and reached the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals, has agreed a two-year extension to his current deal ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against his home nation in Gothenburg. His assistant Tord Grip has signed a similar new contract.

'I am happy'
Speaking on Sunday morning, Eriksson said: "I am happy. The team is extremely good. I think they can do big, big things. I hope that we can stop the speculation now. Chelsea have never offered me anything."

'Great news'
FA chief executive Mark Palios added: "This is great news for England fans and the England team. He is one of the best managers in the world."

Source: uefa.com

 

New look for Greek football



The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) has announced new sponsors and unveiled a new logo. The EPO is aiming to adjust its image to today's market conditions, bringing out football's marketing dimension at the same time.

Sponsorship deals
Vassilios Gagatsis, the president of the EPO, today welcomed representatives of OPAP S.A., Vodafone, adidas, Grecotel, Mercedes and Hellas On Line, who have all accepted the opportunity to affiliate their names with the Greek national team between 2004 and 2006.

'European model'
"When we began this project, our starting point was to organise the senior national team in a way modelled after major European national teams," Gagatsis said. "For the first time since it was founded in 1926, the EPO has at its disposal a fully-equipped athletics centre and a team of qualified coaches in charge of Greek national sides."

Firm financial framework
Gagatsis went on to speak about the EPO's aim of becoming financially self-reliant, with the examples of UEFA and FIFA used as development platforms. "We have decided on an administrational reconstruction based on the new framework of modern technology and new activities," he said. "We made the first steps in the marketing field two years ago. We are trying to increase our financial resources so that the sport can become independent and self-powered.

'Investment in training'
"From our €30m budget last year, only 27 per cent came from state subsidy," the EPO president continued. "Around the country, 47 training centres are already being constructed in corresponding regional football unions. Recently, we held eight coaching courses modelled on UEFA and for the first time we trained coaches for junior age groups. Our target is to make the national team more accessible to the public, through its own boutique, its own products, even its own season-ticket offers."

Logo explained
According to marketing executive director Ioannis Farfarellis, the EPO's new logo consists of a variety of symbols. "The circle labelled 'Hellenic Football Federation' symbolises the endeavour that drives the team effort and affirms the idea that football unites," he said. "The ball in the circle symbolises the drive, the constant movement, the show, whilst the geographic image of Greece is a mark of inspiration, energy, pride and perspective."

Illustrious names
The presentation ceremony in Athens was held in the presence of Otto Rehhagel, coach of Greece, while internationals Antonios Nikopolidis, Vassilios Tsiartas and Georgios Georgiadis were also present, as were members of the EPO's executive board.

Source: uefa.com, epo.gr

 

Botafogo longs for Amoroso



Dortumd striker Marcio Amoroso has confirmed that Botafogo President, Bebeto de Freitas, has contacted him to join the Alvinegros.

The player, who is currently in Brazil recovering from a knee surgery, also stated that the time is not the more appropriate, but has not discarded the return from Brazil. "I was very flattered with the contacts made" he said.

Botafogo is seeking to sign key players to face the brasilian championship, after failing to qualify twice in the Rio de Janeiro regional championship.

 

Espanyol 2-1 Athletic

Athletic lost in Barcelona, to desperate Espanyol, and may suffer a setback in the fight for European league places. The basques saw their two central defenders (Lacruz and Prieto) sent-off during the match, and will have to re-desing their defensive sector in next week's match against Celta Vigo.

ESPANYOL: Lemmens, Domoraud, Lopo, Pochettino, Vignal (David García, min.74), Wome, Fredson, De la Peña, Hadji (Jordi min.60), Maxi (Velamazán, min.85) y Tamudo.

ATHLETIC: Aranzubia, Javi González, Lacruz, Luis Prieto, Del Horno, Iraola (Ezquerro, min.46), Orbaiz, Gurpegi, Etxebarria (Karanka, min.85), Yeste (Julen Guerrero, min.69) y Urzaiz.

GOALS: 1-0, min.3: Tamudo. 2-0, min.84: Tamudo (pen). 2-1, min.90+: Pochettino(og).

 

River Plate 5-0 Arsenal Sarandí



River Plate returned to the victories in the home league with a smashing result in front of it's hinchas. River did not have no play superbly well to defeat a weak Arsenal. Four quick goals, two in the beginning of each half dictated the flow of the game. Gallardo with 3 goals and Sand with 2 were the key figures of the match. River is showing that the recent defeats were a stumble that is being surpassed.

RIVER PLATE: Franco Costanzo; Ariel Garcé, Horacio Ameli, Eduardo Tuzzio, Juan Fernández; Eduardo Coudet (Kilian Virviescas, 73'), Javier Mascherano, Luis González; Marcelo Gallardo; Daniel Montenegro (José Maria Sand, 20'), Marcelo Salas (Daniel Ludueña, 61').

ARSENAL SARANDÍ: Alejandro Lima; Darío Espínola, Carlos Ruiz, Víctor Molina (Quinteros, 45'), Marcelo Bustamante; Juan Fernández D’Alesio (Monrroy 74'), Gastón Esmerado, Carlos Castiglione, Patricio González; José Luis Calderón, Martín Vilallonga.

GOALS: 1-0, Gallardo (10'); 2-0, Gallardo (11'); 3-0, Sand (46'); 4-0, Sand (50'); 5-0, Gallardo (86')

Saturday, March 27, 2004 

Adanaspor 1-2 Fenerbahçe

A tough but vital 2-1 win was the result from our trip to relegation faced Adanaspor today. Marcio Nobre`s double answered the home side`s shock early goal.
After the injuries to Mehmet Yozgatlı and Kemal Arslan Christoph Daum had to re-shuffle his midfield, which brought the return of Selçuk Şahin to the side. Ümit Özat switched to the left, while Ali Güneş and Marco Aurelio played in the centre with Selçuk to their right. Fatih Akyel played at right back as Ali moved up the field.

The bottom side of the league were still to prove a challenge for our team, as the stress multiplies by the week towards the end of the season. Adanaspor were to add more to that by scoring in the 2nd minute. Ümit Ozan was played in just inside our half, beating the offside trap according to the referees, before squaring the ball for Murat Özatak who finished off in his second attempt following Volkan Demirel`s save.

It still took a while before we got out of our tracks, and it proved that a dead ball situation would be our catalyst. Pierre van Hooijdonk`s rapid delivery from the byline was met by Marcio Nobre`s head with some power to get our equaliser in the 22nd minute.

Daum made an early change by taking off Stjepan Tomas for Sergei Rebrov to boost our attacking force.

But Adanaspor continued to be a threat and forced our team back on many occassions. Volkan was forced to cut out dangerous crosses particularly in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

The second half should ideally have started with a bomb for Fenerbahçe, but the complete opposite happened as the home side got two clear cut opportunities, luckily squandering them to keep the score at 1-1.

Ten minutes into the second half Marcio Nobre showed great persistence to score his second of the game. The Brazilian forward headed Rebrov`s corner straight at the keeper, snap-shot at the rebound before finally scoring on his third attempt while he was on the floor, 2-1.

He could have added another if he was one step ahead to reach van Hooijdonk`s pass into the area.

With 20 minutes to go van Hooijdonk looked wrongly judged offside as he scored a clever goal onto a move created by Aurelio.

Ümit was one-on-one with the keeper too after breaking in from the left, but his effort was tipped away by the keeper.

Adanaspor threatened particularly with attacks from our left wing. Many balls were cleared from the box by the likes of Fabio Luciano, Ali, Volkan and even Rebrov.

Marcio Nobre was clearly brought down in the box by Timur but referee Serdar Tatlı`s whistle remained silent.

With the final whistle however, our fans were in the joy of taking the three points despite a below par performance.

Adanaspor: Serkan Kırıntılı, Timur, Güngör, Serkan Bekiroğlu, İlker (86` Gökmen), Ercan, İbrahim, Murat Özatak, Ümit Ozan, Ümit Bilican (71` Ali Asım), Yusuf (79` Lalik)

Fenerbahçe: Volkan Demirel, Fabio Luciano, Stjepan Tomas (34` Sergei Rebrov), Fatih Akyel, Mahmut Hanefi Erdoğdu, Ali Güneş, Ümit Özat, Selçuk Şahin, Marcio Nobre, Pierre van Hooijdonk

Goals: 22`, 55` Marcio Nobre (Fenerbahçe), 2` Murat Özatak (Adanaspor)

Source: Fenerbahçe.org

 

Paulo Almeida is Benfica first new player for 2004/05 season



According to the portuguese journal, A Bola, Benfica signed a pre-deal with Paulo Almeida for the coming season. The brasilian center defender is currently playing for Santos and had been with the brasilian national team in the pre-olimpics. Paulo Almeida arrived at Santos in 2000 and played 28 games last year winning the Brasileirão in 2002, allong with players as Diego and Robinho.

Source: abola

 

Melchiot back to the Dutch Squad

Chelsea FC defender Mario Melchiot has been selected in the Netherlands squad to face reigning European champions France at Rotterdam's De Kuip stadium next Wednesday.

Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat called up the 27-year-old to the 22-man squad for the first time in almost a year. The right-back last represented his country against Portugal last April, coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw.

Manchester City FC midfield player Paul Bosvelt and FC Barcelona's Michael Reiziger also return after they were left out from the squad to face the United States last month. Nigel de Jong, who replaced the injured Reiziger in that match, retains his place.

The only other personnel change is the omission of Arjen Robben due to a hamstring injury. The PSV Eindhoven winger scored his first international goal on his third appearance in the 1-0 defeat of the US.

Netherlands squad
Van der Sar, Waterreus, De Boer, Bouma, Heitinga, De Jong, Melchiot, Reiziger, Stam, Zenden, Van Bommel, Bosvelt, Cocu, Davids, Seedorf, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Van Hooijdonk, Makaay, Van der Meyde, Van Nistelrooy, Overmars.

Source: Uefa.com, Voetball

Friday, March 26, 2004 

Baseggio sign 4 years contract with Anderlecht



RSC Anderlecht have reached an agreement with Walter Baseggio on the extension of his contract with the Belgian club. The midfielder of Sporting Anderlecht and the Red Devils had a contract that was running until 2005, but Thursday evening both sides agreed to an extension until 2008.

The midfield player has been in excellent form this season, helping Anderlecht establish a 13-point lead at the top of the domestic standings over closest rivals Club Brugge KV. He joined the Brussels side at the age of 12, making his first-team debut in 1996 and has gone on to be a hugely influential player.
Baseggio is a regular Belgian international and first represented his country in March 1999 in a 1-0 friendly defeat by Bulgaria.

 

Scolari called Nuno Gomes for the match against Italy



Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has included Nuno Gomes in his squad for the UEFA EURO 2004™ hosts' friendly against Italy next Wednesday in Braga.

Due to injury the 27-year-old forward has been missing from the international fold since the friendly against Kuwait in November. However two goals in last night's UEFA Cup match against FC Internazionale have helped seal his return - and lessen the pain of SL Benfica's 4-3 aggregate defeat.

Tottenham Hotspur FC forward Hélder Postiga is also recalled after an absence of five months while Hugo Almeida and Hugo Viana have been dropped from the squad that faced England. Experienced internationals Maniche, Sérgio Conceição and Fernando Meira also miss out and now look unlikely to figure this summer.

Scolari said: "I almost have my squad finalised for the finals. I wanted to call three strikers up and see Pauleta, Nuno Gomes and Postiga playing - I hope this will help me decide if I will call two or three of them for the final squad. We are playing almost as I want us to. Those 21 days we have before EURO 2004™ will be fundamental to completing our preparations."

Portuguese squad

Benfica (5) – Miguel, Nuno Gomes, Petit, Simão e Tiago
FC Porto (5) – Paulo Ferreira, Costinha, Deco, Nuno Valente, Ricardo Carvalho
Sporting (3) – Ricardo, Beto e Rui Jorge
AC Milan – Rui Costa
D. Corunha – Jorge Andrade
Fulham – Luís Boa Morte
Lázio – Fernando Couto
Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo
Paris-SG – Pauleta
Real Madrid – Figo
Sp. Braga – Quim
Tottenham – Hélder Postiga

Source: Uefa.com, abola.pt

 

Barça following Gilberto Silva



According to the Barcelona Vice President Sandro Rossel, Barcelona is interested in signing the midfielder Gilberto Silva from Arsenal for the coming season. AC Milan is also on the run to sign the Brasilian.

Thursday, March 25, 2004 

UEFA CUP 1/8 Final Results



Bruges-Bordéus, 0-1 (1-3)
PSV Eindhoven-Auxerre, 3-0 (1-1)
AS Roma-Villarreal, 2-1 (0-2)
Maiorca-Newcastle, 0-3 (1-4)
Inter de Milão-Benfica, 4-3 (0-0)
Marselha-Liverpool, 2-1 (1-1)
Barcelona-Celtic, 0-0 (0-1)
Valência-Gençlergirligi, 2-0 (0-1), Silver Goal

 

PSV 3 - 0 Auxerre

A blistering two-goal first-half performance from Mateja Kezman and a second-half strike from Mark van Bommel saw PSV Eindhoven cruise into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals at AJ Auxerre's expense.

Kezman struck in the fourth minute then again on 27 minutes to put PSV in command and Auxerre were unable to recover from the early blow. PSV captain Van Bommel sealed the success with his side's third goal 17 minutes from the end.

Both sides came into the match, following a opening encounter that ended 1-1, hampered by injuries. First-leg goalscorers Theo Lucius and Teemu Tainio both missed out, and PSV coach Guus Hiddink also had to do without his influential winger Arjen Robben, who has a torn hamstring. Auxerre striker Djibril Cissé was forced to sit out with a bruised foot.

Despite only needing a goalless draw to qualify for the quarter-finals, Hiddink fielded an attacking 4-3-3 formation while Auxerre coach Guy Roux took a more careful approach with his side lining up 4-4-1-1.

In the opening minutes PSV cleverly spread the ball around the park, probing for the weaknesses in the French side's defence and their early pressure paid off after only four minutes. Kezman broke down the left wing and found Ji-Sung Park in front of goal. The winger was pressured off the ball by the Auxerre goalkeeper Fabien Cool, but Kezman gathered the rebound and struck to put the home side ahead.

Only two minutes after falling behind, Auxerre sent a warning to PSV, Lionel Mathis shooting from inside the area only to be denied by Ronald Waterreus in the PSV goal. In the following minutes Olivier Kapo was the man to watch, especially when PSV gave him the room to run at their defence down the right.

But just when Auxerre had settled and were starting to look dangerous, PSV struck for a second time. The French side failed to clear a Young-Pyo Lee cross, which was too deep for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink at the far post, but fell for Kezman who fired in his second goal of the night off the outstretched hand of Cool then the post on 27 minutes.

Auxerre pressed forward after the goal, but without really threatening until the closing seconds of the first half when Kapo lunged at a cross from Jean-Joël Perrier-Doumbé, but sent his header wide.

Despite his side now needing two goals to prevail, Roux made no changes at half-time. His counterpart Hiddink also stuck with the same XI that had impressed before the break, but this time they were forced to defend more deeply as Auxerre pressed from the restart.

In the early minutes of the second half the visiting side looked more willing to push players forward, but their attempts were repelled by the well-organised Dutch defence. PSV were well in charge and content to sit back in defence and wait for chances on the break.

Even with time ticking away Auxerre failed to pose a serious threat and PSV made sure of their place in the quarter-finals 17 minutes from the end. This time Van Bommel proved too quick for the Auxerre defence on the break and sealed a well-deserved victory that had been put beyond doubt by Kezman's double strike in the first half.

PSV:
Waterreus, Colin, Hofland, Bouma, Lee, Park, Van Bommel, Van der Schaaf, De Jong, Vennegoor of Hesselink en Kezman.

A.J. Auxerre:
Cool, Jaures, Boumsong, Violeau, Lachuer, Akalé, Grichting, Mathis, Kapo, Perrier Doumbé, Sirieix.

Goals: Kezman 4', 27´; Van Bommel 73´

Source: Uefa.com, PSV.nl

 

Inter beat Benfica in seven-goal thriller to reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals (Football United derby)

FC Internazionale edged out SL Benfica in a thrilling UEFA Cup fourth round second-leg match at the San Siro to earn a quarter-final meeting with Olympique de Marseille.

The visitors took the lead through Nuno Gomes before Obafemi Martins hit a first-half equaliser. The game really came to life on the hour with the introduction of Alvaro Recoba, as he scored one before providing Christian Vieri with the third. Nuno Gomes scored a second before Martins struck again, only for Tiago to ensure a tense finish by making it 4-3.

On 36 minutes Benfica took the lead, catapulting what had been a cagey game into life. Tiago found Nuno Gomes with a short pass and the Portuguese international set himself before shooting low into the goal off Francesco Toldo's right-hand post.

Gomes then hit the same post with a side-footed effort after good work from Armando, but this time it went behind for a goal-kick. Then, just six minutes after the opener, Martins had the ball in the net, but the strike was disallowed for a foul by Vieri in the build up. The burly Italian international was adjudged to have fouled Ricardo Rocha as they competed for an aerial ball.

Martins did get his goal in the end however, as Inter equalised in first-half stoppage time. All the credit went to Giorgios Karagounis though, as the Greek midfield player's winding run on the by-line took him past several Inter defenders and a sprawling Moriera to give Martins a simple tap-in.

The second half started quietly, before a whirlwind of four goals in ten minutes. The game changed with the introduction of the mercurial Recoba for Okan Buruk on 59 minutes. The Uruguayan star made a profound impact as he put the hosts in front a minute later. Javier Zanetti's crossfield pass was cleverly left by Vieri, buying Recoba the time to shoot across Moriera and in from the edge of the box.

Inter were rampant and on 64 minutes they grabbed a splendid second. Martins launched a counterattack down the right by finding Recoba in space. He looked up and fired a crossfield pass to Vieri, who chested down before blasting a ferocious volley into the net.

Benfica refused to give in though and turned what looked like an easy ride for Inter into a thrilling finale. First Nuno Gomes slid in to grab a second from close range, before Martins struck again from a Recoba pass to restore Inter's two-goal cushion.

However, José Antonio Camacho's side were still not deterred and Tiago made it 4-3 on 77 minutes after a smart one-two with substitute Tomislav Šokota. A fourth would have put Benfica into the quarter-finals on away goals but Inter held out to go through, and now visit Marseille on 8 April before a return here six days later.

Match facts:
Scorers: Nuno Gomes 36', 67', Martins 46', 71', Recoba 60', Vieri 64', Tiago 77'
Booked: Tiago 23', Okan 42', Pereira 57', Cordoba 69', Armando 79', Recoba 80'
Referee: Alain Sars

INTER: 1 Toldo , 2 Cordoba , 4 J. Zanetti , 8 Lamouchi , 15 Adani , 18 Kily Gonzalez , 19 Karagounis (31 Brechet 72'), 22 Okan (20 Recoba 59'), 24 Gamarra , 30 Martins (25 Almeyda 86'), 32 Vieri
Subs not used: 71 Cordaz , 7 van der Meyde , 9 Cruz , 14 Farinos
Coach Alberto Zaccheroni

BENFICA: 1 Moreira, 2 Armando, 4 Luisao, 6 Petit (11 Geovanni 86'), 10 Zahovic (25 Sokota, 20 Simao, 21 Nuno Gomez, 23 Miguel, 30 Tiago, 33 Ricardo Rocha, 47 João Pereira (Manuel Fernades 74')
Subs not used: 24 Bossio, 5 Cristiano, 16 Aguiar, 37 Helder
Coach: José Antonio Camacho

source: uefa.com & inter.it

 

Barcelona 0 - 0 Celtic


Martin O'Neill's Celtic, leading 1-0 from the first leg in Glasgow, held rampant Barcelona to a goalless draw at Camp Nou to reach the Quarter-Finals of the Uefa Cup.

Alan Thompson's goal a fortnight ago at Parkhead proved enough to halt Barca's bandwagon.

And given the Bhoys' previous fallibility in European away games, their resolute draw in Catalonia ranks as a heroic performance of great significance to a season that is shaping into one of their best-ever.

Celtic will now play Villareal, surprise conquerors of Roma, in the Quarter-Final.

Source: Soccerage

 

Gama 4-4 Botafogo



Botafogo and Gama drawed in the match for the brasilian cup, played in the Federal District of Brasilia. The decision of the round moves now to Rio de Janeiro, and Estádio Caio Martins, home of the Alvinegros, on the 7th of April.

GAMA: Osmair, Weider, Carlos Eduardo, Emerson e Boby; Erivaldo, Goéber, Wesley e Rodriguinho (Macaé); Victor e Michel Platini.

BOTAFOGO: Jefferson, Ruy, João Carlos, Sandro e Jorginho (Daniel); Fernando, Túlio (Carlos Alberto), Valdo (Dill) e Camacho; Alex Alves e Almir. Técnico:

GOALS: 0-1, Fernando (4'); 1-1, Rodriguinho (7'); 2-1, Emerson (16'); 2-2, Camacho (22'); 2-3, Alex Alves (46'); 3-3, Goéber (60'); 3-4, Alex Alves (63'); 4-4, Victor (78')

 

HSV Determined To Sign Basturk



The time for decisions had arrived in Hamburg. HSV wasn´t able to announce no new signings for the coming season. According to the german journal MOPO the club wants to attract Leverkusens Yildiray Bastürk at the Elbe since the contract of the Turk in Bayer runs out in the end of the season.

The 25 years old attacking midfielder is in the Bundesliga since 1997. He started on Bochum where he played 4 seasons and became a crucial member of the team and of the turkish national team. In 2001 he moved to Leverkusen by the hands of Klaus Toppmöller. In the most glorious season of the Bayer team the turkish managed to settle down in the first team and to made excellent games in the Champions League (Bayer reatched the final).

Toppmöller leaved the team in 2002 but Bastürk still managed to stay on the first team and to travel with the turkish national team to Japan to play the World Cup 2002.

But now Bastürk seem determined in abandoning Leverkusen. Last pre season Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Celtic and Liverpool offer him a contract but the player decided to stay until the end of the contract. HSV already offer him a contract, and in Hamburg everybody would be pleased to receive the turkish star and the player would be pleased to meet again his former coatch.

 

Uefa Cup Preview: PSV-Auxerre

PSV Eindhoven will be favourites as they play hosts to Auxerre at the Philips stadium, after forcing the French side to a 1-1 draw in the first leg. The two squads will be weakened by a series of injuries, which could benefit to PSV, since a goalless draw would be enough to take them through to the quarter-finals.

With half their regulars sidelined, Auxerre face an uphill battle if they are to progress. But manager Guy Roux insists that his side have "nothing to lose". In the previous round, Auxerre had been held at home by Panathanaïkos, only to progress courtesy of a 1-0 away win in the second leg.

PSV boss Guus Hiddink is confident his side will make it through to the next round, but he's wary of the Auxerre threat. "We will have to show great tactical discipline", the Dutchman said.

Probable starting line-ups:

PSV: Waterreus - Lee, Bouma, Hofland, Colin - Van Der Schaaf, Addo, Van Bommel, De Jong - Vennegoor of Hesselink or Vonlanthen, Kezman

Auxerre: Cool - Jaurès, Boumsong, Grichting, Perrier-Doumbe - Violeau, Mathis, Sirieix - Lachuer - Akalé, Kapo

Prediction: Given the long list of injuries that both sides have to cope with, don't expect a goal galore at the Philips stadium.

PSV should capitalise on their good 1-1 draw away to Auxerre in the first leg to progress. A 1-0 home win is the most likely result for tonight's match.

Source: Soccerage

Wednesday, March 24, 2004 

Uefa Cup Preview: Barcelona-Celtic

It will require 11 Celtic brave hearts to come away from Camp Nou with their Uefa Cup hopes still intact.

For this is a Barcelona side on a roll. The 1-0 defeat at Parkhead is the Catalans' only recent blemish in an otherwise rampant series of results that have seen them reel off 9 straight victories in La Liga and reach the fourth round of this competition.

Frank Rijkaard is no longer under the extreme pre-Christmas pressure for his job, the fans are filling the stadium each week, and the team itself are playing with the finesse and vigour of a side of yesteryear.

Not that Saturday's 1-0 win over Real Sociedad -a result which saw them move to within six points of leaders Real Madrid- was without its flaws. Yes, they deserved the victory handed to them by an 89th minute Ronaldinho free-kick, but it wasn't a fluent display, with the football constipated, and the players all too often getting in the way of each other.

But job done and Barca can now focus on the task ahead, and one senses they will be made to sweat before coming through this tie.

Alan Thompson, the Hoops' winger who scored the only goal of the first-leg, says Celtic are not holding any grudges against Barcelona despite the fracas in the tunnel at half-time that saw their goalkeeper Robert Douglas and Barca midfielder Thiago Motta sent off by referee Wolfgang Stark.

Both dismissed players automatically miss the return, but Thompson – who is himself nursing a hamstring problem – insists that the incident has now been forgotten by both sides. Thompson told Celtic's official website: "I don't think it will account for anything. I don't think we are an overly aggressive team which some people have said, and I watched the Barcelona game on TV on Sunday night and I don't think they are the most aggressive team in the world. We certainly don't have any grudges going into the game and I would doubt if they have.

"People have spoken like that before about us after games. Now we just have to wait and see. I don't think it has ever affected the way we have approached our games."

Thompson has flown to Catalonia with Martin O'Neill's squad and has not given up hope of playing despite the injury. "I've had a bit of a tight hamstring - it happened during the first leg at Celtic Park - and it's not been 100% since then but I am hoping it will have settled down by Thursday," he said on Wednesday. "If we go through into the next round, I think it will be one of the best results we have had at the club since I have been here. If you don't go through, then the first leg result means nothing, but we are aware of just how demanding it is going to be.

"We want to approach it in a positive manner and it would be nice to get a goal over there. We have to try and prevent them from scoring, especially early on, and what we are looking for is to produce another big performance."

PROBABLE STARTING XI:

Barcelona: Valdés; Reiziger, Puyol, Oleguer, Gabri; Xavi, Cocu, Gerard, Ronaldinho; Luis Garci'a, Luis Enrique.

Celtic: Marshall, McNamara, Mjallby, Kennedy, McManus, Agathe, Lambert, Lennon, Pearson, Petrov, Larsson.

Source: Soccerage

 

Inter - Benfica (Preview)


FC Internazionale will be striving to prove that there is more than one team in Milan capable of dazzling on the European stage when they tackle SL Benfica in the second leg of their UEFA Cup fourth-round tie on Thursday.

With the red half of the city still revelling in the glory of AC Milan's 4-1 UEFA Champions League victory against RC Deportivo La Coruña last night, Inter supporters could claim the bragging rights on Friday should their side overcome Benfica to set up a quarter-final meeting with Liverpool FC or Olympique de Marseille. The tie is finely balanced, though, with the Nerazzurri being susceptible to an away goal following a scoreless draw at the Estádio da Luz.

Benfica will take confidence from a showing in Lisbon which saw them dominate possession and goalscoring opportunities, and the fact that Inter have been flawed of late in front of their own fans: Alberto Zaccheroni's side last won at home on 1 February, AC Siena beaten 4-0. Inter are sixth in Serie A and would have been even further adrift had they not arrested a run of six games without success against Ancona Calcio on Sunday.

Christian Vieri was rested for that 2-0 victory but will return to spearhead an attack in which Obafemi Martins, Alvaro Recoba and Julio Cruz are competing for a starting place. Dutch winger Andy van der Meyde is also available after recovering from flu, yet there is little cheer for Zaccheroni in other positions: Thomas Helveg, Cristiano Zanetti and Marco Materazzi are suspended, Dejan Stankovic and Adriano ineligible and Francesco Coco (back), Emre Belözoglu and Fabio Cannavaro (both thigh) injured.

None the less, Zaccheroni is confident Inter are equipped to progress. "I'm expecting to win even if I'm aware that we're facing a team that's in good shape at the moment," the coach told the club's official website. "Benfica are strong across the field and come into the match on the back of a series of good results. It'll be a difficult match, but we've got the means to reach the next round."

Benfica have passed Portuguese international duo Tiago and Petit fit and both should play. Nuno Gomes scored the only goal as the Eagles defeated SC Beira-Mar 1-0 in the SuperLiga on Sunday and he will again be on the prowl at the San Siro, a venue where Inter have won just once in five European games this term.

"This battle with Inter is very important because most of the players are playing in big European matches for the first time," said Benfica coach I already know who will play. "I already know who will play and I can guarantee it will be a very competitive team." And a competitive match, no doubt.

Probable Lineups:

Inter (4-4-2)
Toldo; Cordoba, Adani, Gamarra, J.Zanetti; C. Zanetti, Farinos, Kily Gonzalez, Recoba; Martins and Vieri

Benfica (4-4-2)
Moreira; Miguel, Ricardo Rocha, Luisão, Armando; Petit, Tiago, João Pereira, Simão Sabrosa; Nuno Gomes and Sokota

Prediction

Despite Benfica's red-hot form, if Inter play to their potential on Thursday they should win. Benfica are likely to get off to a nervous start because they are reletiveli inexperienced in big European matches of this nature.
The expected result is Inter 2 : Benfica 1

Source: Uefa.com

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