Saturday, July 31, 2004 

Tomas Ujfalusi to leave HSV

Tomas Ujfalusi is leaving HSV! The Czech Republic defender will join the newly-promoted Italian Serie A club AC Florence. Both clubs reached agreement on a transfer deal late on Friday evening (30.07.04). The deal hinged on the acceptance of the classy defender: "I have asked HSV to let me go. A childhood dream will become reality for me when I play in Italy," said the player.

HSVsport director Dietmar Beiersdorfer explained: "Sportingly and humanly speaking, the loss of Tomas is a great loss for us, which we plan to compensate for as soon as possible. We will plough the transfer money back into the team." spoke to the want-away defender about his reasons for his shock transfer.



Everson has left Nice for Benfica

Portuguese Cup holders SL Benfica have continued their preparations for the UEFA Champions League by signing Brazilian midfield player Everson from OGC Nice.

Champions League campaign
The 28-year-old has spent two seasons with Nice, having previously played for VfL Osnabrück in German regional football. He has signed a four-year contract, and having not played for Nice in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup but to an adductor injury will be eligible for Benfica's Champions League campaign, which begins with a third qualifying round tie against RSC Anderlecht this month.

'This transfer is fantastic'
Everson said: This transfer is fantastic for me. Benfica are one of the best European clubs and this move is like a prize for all the work I have been doing."


Friday, July 30, 2004 

Derby United in Champions League

The draw for the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League has thrown up a mouthwatering tie between two of European football's great names - SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht.

Excellent pedigree
Both clubs have an excellent European pedigree. Benfica were champions of Europe in 1961 and 1962, while Anderlecht won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1976 and 1978 and the UEFA Cup in 1983. Another tie to capture the imagination is the meeting between Swiss champions FC Basel, who reached the second group stage of this competition in 2002/03, and Italian side FC Internazionale, winners of this competition in 1964 and 1965.



Champions League third qualifying round draw

Juventus-Djurgardens (SUE) / Kaunas (LIT)
Ferencvaros (HUN) / KF Tirana (ALB)-Sparta Praga (RCH) / Apoel Nicosia (CHI)
Rosenborg (NOR) / Sheriff Tiraspol (MOL)-Maccabi Haifa
CSKA Moscovo (RUS) / Nefchi (AZE)-Rangers
Shakhtar Donetsk (UCR) / Pyunik (ARM)-Brujas (BEL) / Lokomotiv Plovdiv (BUL)
Dinamo Kiev-Trabzonspor (TUR) / Skonto Riga (LET)
Estrella Roja (SyM) / Young Boys (SUI)-PSV (NED)
Dinamo Bucarest (ROM) / Zilina (ESL)-Manchester United
Basileia-Inter de Milão
Deportivo-Hajduk SPlit (CRO) / Shelbourne (IRL)
PAOK-Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)/HJK Helsinki (FIN)
Wisla Cracovia (POL)/WIT Georgia (GEO)-Real Madrid
FC Copenhague (DIN)/Nova Gorica (ESV)-Mónaco

Thursday, July 29, 2004 

Wisla show command of WIT

Wisla Kraków scored eight goals for the first time in any of their 61 European ties as they returned from FC WIT Georgia with an overwhelming victory in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.

Record defeat
It was some contrast to the Polish champions' UEFA Cup exit last year, where they drew both legs of their tie with Vålerenga IF 0-0 before losing on penalties. The result was also the heaviest defeat ever inflicted on a Georgian club in European competition

Frankowski scores four
WIT coach Merab Kochlashvili had decided to go for broke and field an attacking lineup, but his side were caught out especially after they adopted even more positive tactics after falling behind in Tbilisi. Within five minutes the visitors were 2-0 up with Tomasz Frankowski scoring the first two of a personal four-goal haul.

Lead stretched
On 13 minutes WIT defender Tengiz Kobiashvili headed in from a corner to reduce arrears, but midway through the half Damian Gorawski chipped in Wisla's third and Frankowski completed his hat-trick two minutes later with a long-range lob. WIT held on until the break, but six minutes into the second half Frankowski was on target yet again, though seconds later Georgi Adamia pulled one back.

Zurawski double
Still, Wisla were not finished and captain Maciej Zurawski scored on 58 and 67 minutes to stretch the lead before substitute Marcin Kuzba turned in a low cross to extend his side's advantage to 8-2 - a lead that will require WIT to pull off an unheard-of comeback to turn the tie in Poland next Wednesday.



Milanetto close to sign for Benfica

The 28 year´s old italian midfielder from Modena is close for signing for Benfica. According to the latest information Modena is in the provisory list that Benfica send to UEFA for the Champions League Qualifying stage. Milanetto already worked with Trapp in Juventus and would look with good eyes a move to the portuguese giants.


Villarreal 1 - 0 Hamburg - Intertoto semi final

Sonny Anderson's penalty gave UEFA Intertoto Cup holders Villarreal CF a 1-0 victory against Hamburger SV in the first leg of their semi-final, but stubborn defending ensured the home team could not build up more of a lead.

Early chance
The match rolled into a slow start as both sides fought for possession in midfield. Three minutes in Anderson was sent clear by Roger García and headed towards the Hamburg goal but defender Daniel Van Buyten proved equal to the task.

Wicky denies Anderson
Roger was proving the pick of the players in the Levante heat, and in the eleventh minute he again found his Brazilian team-mate. But although Anderson lobbed the ball over Hamburg goalkeeper Martin Pieckenhagen, the ball was drifting wide and although the striker was able to direct it back towards goal, Raphaël Wicky cleared off the line.

Hamburg chance
Despite some more fine play by Roger and Anderson, Hamburg refused to be broken down before the break. Four minutes into the second half they nearly caught Villarreal off guard, but although Emile Mpenza's cross cleared the surprised home defence, recipient Bernardo Romeo could not take advantage.

Penalty converted
Villarreal finally made their intense pressure tell in the 51st minute. José Mari was brought down by Björn Schlicke in the Hamburg box and Anderson made no mistake from the spot. Ten minutes later, Roger and Anderson were withdrawn by Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini, but 19-year-old substitute Santiago Cazorla proved a worthy replacement as he ran the show late on, only for Pieckenhagen to repel all efforts.

Close tie
Villarreal will take their lead to Hamburg next Wednesday, but especially considering a late miss by Víctor Fernández, will feel they will still have plenty of work to do if they are to keep alive their dreams of progressing through this competition to the UEFA Cup for the second season running.



Benfica sign Karadas for 4 seasons

Karadas, who has been capped by Norway at all levels, impressed the Lisbon Eagles last season during their Third Round UEFA Cup clash with Rosenborg.

The 22-year-old is a powerful striker who is also a good ball dribbler and is dangerous from free-kicks.

He has signed a four year deal and will arrive in Lisbon on Thursday.

Benfica were eager to close out this deal because they did not want Karadas to play for Rosenborg in their Champions League qualifier today against FC Sheriff. If he were to play, he would be rendered cup tied and would be unable to represent Benfica in their Third Round Champions qualifier.

Karadas has scored 3 goal for Rosenborg, who are currently topping the Norweigan Premier League, this season.

Last year he bagged 8 goals in his first season with the club, he had previously played with SK Brann of Norway where he scored 15 goals in 50 first team appearences.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004 

Intertoto Cup semi-final first leg: Villarreal - HSV

So finally the day has come for which all HSV fans have been waiting for. Tonight at 10.00 pm (!), HSV take on the Spanish first division side Villarreal, in the first leg of the Intertoto Cup semi-final. The match will be shown live on Premiere TV. HSV's coach knows the Spaniards well, he watched them three times last season.

Danger man!

Toppi knows their main danger man is the hugely experienced veteran striker Sonny Anderson. Toppi will man-mark the prolific goal scorer by putting Bastian Reinhardt on his tail. Should Anderson get away from his "shadow", big Daniel van Buyten will be waiting for him!

Romeo on fire

The Spanish press has rightly been warning of the goal scoring prowess of HSV's Argentinean striker Bernardo Romeo, who scored four times in tow matches against the Swiss side Thun, in the quarter finals of the competition. Romeo is on fire at the moment, and as opposed to last season, is willing to drop back and help his team mates. HSV knows that tonight's opponent is a different proposition than (with all due respect) Thun was. Sport director Dietmar Beiersdorfer recently said in an exclusive interview with, that he sees the game in Spain as a pointer as to exactly where the team is at the moment, performance wise and fitness wise.

No skipper

HSV's newly appointed skipper Tomas Ujfalusi will not play in Spain, he is recovering from bruising to his toe, sustained during the recent EURO 2004 championships in Portugal. Veteran striker Sergej Barbarez has stayed in Hamburg to receive treatment for an adductor problem. Villarreal is hoping for a crowd in excess of 10,000 for tonight's match. All season ticket holders get in for free this evening.

Second chance

Klaus Toppmöller described how he sees the optimal situation for his side regarding the first leg tie: "Not to lose and to score an away goal. That would set us up nicely for the return leg in the AOL Arena a week later," hopes Toppi.

Probable HSV line-up: Pieckenhagen - Schlicke, van Buyten, Reinhardt - Wicky, Benjamin, Jarolim, Beinlich, Kling - Romeo, Mpenza.



Benfica close of signing Azar Karadas

Reports out of Portugal are suggesting that Benfica have signed Norwegian striker Azar Karadas from Norway for 1.5 million euros from Rosenborg.
Karadas is a powerful striker with good technical ability and a free-kick specialist. With Nuno Gomes and Mantorras still recovering from injuries, manager Giovanni Trappatoni wanted to sign another striker to help them qualify for the Champions League.

The 22 year-old striker impressed Benfica officials last season when they faced Rosenborg in the UEFA Cup.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004 

PSV official presentation

After the departs of crucial players sutch as Kezman, Robben, Romedahl, Hoffman and Waterraus PSV is under a complete remodelation.

This season, contrary to the last two, PSV signed 9 new players, namely the goalkeepers Edwin Zoetebier (ex Feynoord) and Gomes (ex Santos), the defenders Csaba Fehér (ex NAC), Nathan Coe (ex Heerenven) and Alex (ex Santos), the midfielders DaMarcus Beasley (ex DC United) and Phillip Cocu (ex Barcelona) and the strikers Jefferson Farfán and Sibon.

Monday, July 26, 2004 

Benfica 2 - 2 Real Madrid

This was a very exciting match in the early going as Zlatko Zahovic fired Benfica into the lead in the first minute of play.

The Slovenian international controlled the ball well before firing a low shot from 20 meters out into the right hand corner of the goal and well out of Iker Casillas’ reach.

But Real Madrid responded quickly and evened the score line just two minutes later.

Zidane was first to get on the end of a David Beckham cross, but his well placed header was brilliantly saved by the finger tips of French keeper Yannick but the rebound fell neatly for Ronaldo who was left with a simple tap-in.

Beckham nearly fired Madrid in front in the 15tth minute but his powerful strike from outside the box hit the bar and bounced on the line. Raul was first to get to the loose ball but his goal was disallowed because he was deemed to be in an offside position.

No scoring until the second half, when Fernando Morientes capitalized on some sloppy defending and thrashed the ball past substitute goalkeeper Jose Moreira.

But Benfica gave the home fans something to cheer about as Giovanni headed home an injury time equalizer and salvage some pride for the Portuguese giants.

After the match Jose Antonio Camacho said he was impressed with the way Trapattoni organized his former club and that he hopes Madrid do not have to play Benfica in the Champions League qualifiers.

Benfica: Yannick (Moreira, m. 56); Miguel, Ricardo Rocha (Amoreirinha, m.60), Argel, Dos Santos (Fyssas, m.71), Geovanni, Petit (Bruno Aguiar, m.60), Paulo Almeida, Simao (Joao Pereira, m.56); Zahovic (Manuel Fernandes, m.80), Sokota (Mantorras, m.79).

Real Madrid: Casillas (César, m.46); Salgado, Samuel (Mejía m.85), Helguera, Roberto Carlos (Raúl Bravo, m.46); Núñez (Miñambres m.70), Beckham (Pavón, m.46), Guti (Celades, m.70), Zidane (Solari, m.46); Raúl, Ronaldo (Morientes, m.46).

Goals: Zahovic (1’), Ronaldo (2’), Morientes (76’) e Geovanni (91’).



Intertoto Cup quarter final 2nd leg: HSV 3 - 1 Thun (agg: 5:3)

Things couldn't have started better for HSV in their Intertoto Cup quarter final second leg tie (first leg in Thun 2-2), in front of 27,200 in the AOL Arena on Saturday evening (24.7.04). After only 2 minutes the home side went ahead as wonderful work in midfield involving Jarolim, a back heel by Mpenza and finally a sugar-sweet pass from Sergej Barbarez, put Bernardo Romeo in on goal, where the Gaucho goal-getter finished superbly with a well timed lob over the advancing Thun keeper Coltorti. HSV dominated the first half against the Swiss first division side who knocked Bundesliga club VFL Wolfsburg out over two legs in the previous round. The home side played exciting refreshing football, and their short passing game was a sight for sore eyes.

Dubious decisions...

HSV pressed forward and created a hatful of chances, the first of which was missed by Emile Mpenza on 15 minutes. The lightning-quick Belgian striker seemed surprised to have such an easy chance to take care of. Sergej Barbarez was taken off as a preventive measure with what looked to be a groin problem, and was replaced by Christian Rahn. The referee disallowed what looked to be a perfectly good goal by Romeo on 25 minutes. The Argentinean was adjudged to have been offside...TV pictures however clearly showed that the ref was wrong. Further HSV chances followed, where Jarolim hit the bar and missed another sitter in first half injury time. Thun could count themselves lucky not to be four or even five goals behind at half time instead of only 0-1.

More dubious decisions...

HSV carried on where they had left off in the second half and should have been further ahead, but another awful decision by the linesman adjudged this time Mpenza to be offside a minute after the re-start... a laughable decision to say the least. Thun held their own without really threatening Martin Pieckenhagen in the HSV goal. Piecke didn't have much to do, but he took care of business in his usual calm collected way in his first competitive game for 9 months. On 61 minutes the Thun keeper Coltorti saved well from Romeo who played as if he had a point to prove. He was however powerless three minutes later as Collin Benjamin played Mpenza into the box, where the Belgian finished clinically with a lob into the bottom corner to make the score 2-0 to coach Klaus Toppmölller's side.

Daniel van Buyten superb

Usually it is the strikers in a team who grab the headlines due to their goal scoring prowess, but it must be said that HSV's latest signing the Belgian international man-mountain defender Daniel van Buyten, had a superb game, holding things together at the back while being simply unbeatable in the air. He played as if he'd been in the side for years, giving out clear instructions at the back, all in perfect German. HSV fans can look forward to watching the big man play in the coming season that's for sure. It must also be said that Björn Schlicke played very well alongside the Belgian.

Bernardo at the double!

There was very little to see from the visiting side apart from a free kick on 69 minutes, which Pieckenhagen did well to turn around his post. Three minutes later, a curling free kick into the Thun box caught the Swiss defence who were watching van Buyten and the second half substitute Reinhardt off guard. They failed to pick up Bernardo Romeo who stole in at the far post to gleefully head home his second and HSV's third, to put the game beyond Thun's reach. The Swiss side grabbed a consolation goal 9 minutes from time, as the youngster Moser scored superbly with a fantastic left foot volley, but by then the damage had already been don and HSV played out for time and a well deserved 3-1 win.

Villarreal in semi-final on Wednesday

So HSV move on into the semi-final of the Intertoto Cup, where they face the very dangerous Spanish side Villarreal in Spain on Wednesday (28.7.04). The Hamburg side surely has a chance if it can reproduce the first half form shown in the AOL Arena on Saturday evening.

HSV: Pieckenhagen - Schlicke (71. Reinhardt), van Buyten, Wicky - Jarolim, Beinlich (75. Hampel) - Benjamin, Barbarez (20. Rahn), Kling - Mpenza, Romeo - Trainer: Klaus Toppmöller

Thun: Coltorti, Hodzic, Renggli, Cerrone, Gerber, Tchami, Aegerter, Lustrinelli (65. Ojong), Ferreira, Dos Santos (78. Moser), Kulaksizoglu - Trainer: Hans Peter Latour

Goals: 1:0 Romeo (2.), 2:0 Mpenza (66.), 3:0 Romeo (72.), 3:1 Moser (81.)


Friday, July 23, 2004 

Van den Bergh stands by Utrecht

Attacker Dave van den Bergh has signed a three-year extension to his contract at FC Utrecht.

Improved contract
The left-footed forward, whose contract was due to expire this summer, has put pen to paper on a new and improved contract which will not expire until the summer of 2007. The 28-year-old will now be able to play in the club's UEFA Cup campaign this season.

Winning goal
"Dave is a very good player, and a left winger with the most beautiful pass in the Netherlands," said FC Utrecht coach and technical manager Foeke Booy. "So we are very glad he wants to stay here, having been here for four years already." Van den Bergh scored the only goal in the Dutch Cup final against FC Twente to send Utrecht into Europe.



Beasley lands at PSV

United States midfield player DaMarcus Beasley has joined PSV Eindhoven from Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire.

Four-year contract
The 22-year-old Beasley, who has won 36 caps for his country and played at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, will move to the Netherlands for a reported €2m fee. He made his MLS debut at 16 and has spent the past five years in Chicago, making a total of 114 appearances and scoring 16 goals. Beasley has agreed a four-year contract.

'Very good feeling'
"I have a very good feeling about joining PSV," Beasley told the club's official website. "The club have wanted for some time. Guus Hiddink is a very good coach and I hope to convince the supporters of my ability."

Robben replacement
PSV could use the left-sided Beasley as a direct replacement for Arjen Robben, who left the club to join Chelsea FC earlier this summer. The Dutch runners-up will enter the UEFA Champions League at the third qualifying round stage next month.

Convey moves too
Another US international on the move is Bobby Convey. The 21-year-old midfield player has joined English first division side Reading FC from D.C. United.


Thursday, July 22, 2004 

Benfica 2 - 0 Marselha

Benfica beated Marselha last night in their 3rd friendly game of the season. The Slovenian International Zahovic scored the two goals for Benfica.

BENFICA – Yannick; João Pereira, Amoreirinha, Argel, e Dos Santos; Paulo Almeida; João Vilela (Manuel Fernandes, 54 m), Geovanni, Zahovic e Bruno Aguiar; Sokota (Mantorras, 67 m).

MARSELHA: Gavanon; Ribault, Dehu, Yahaoui e Bamoto (Merlin, 79 m); Koke, N´Diaye, Cheyrou (Pascal, 68 m) e Ferreira (Leonardo, 61 m); Olembe e Batiles (Pedretti, 61 m).~

Goals: 1-0, Zahovic (13 m); 2-0, Zahovic (88 m).


Tomas Ujfalusi the new HSV Captain

As we all know, the media don't always get it right, and HSV coach Klaus Toppmöller has never been a coach easily influenced by media speculation anyway, as he proved yesterday by announcing that the Czech Republic international defender Tomas Ujfalusi will become team captain with immediate effect: "Tomas Ujfalusi is our new captain," announced Toppi after Tuesday's morning training session.

Toppmöller's decision was made after a one on one meeting with the Czech defender, after Ujfalusi's first training session after arriving back in Hamburg following his fine performances during the EURO 2004 in Portugal: "He has a high acceptance level within the team. A decision like this one has to be thought out carefully. I also see the decision as a sign for the future," explained the HSV coach. Ironically as Toppmöller made the announcement, Sergej Barbarez rushed came out of the changing rooms with a look on his face which said everything.

Ujfalusi himself was surprised by the decision, but took it in his stride: "I'm happy that the coach thinks so highly of me. I think I can do a good job," said the defender, who when asked if he though he was a little too quiet on the pitch said: "No, I'm not all that quiet on the pitch. NOw I'll certainly become more vocal." It’s possible that the interest of foreign clubs in signing the classy Czech played a role in Toppmöller's decision: "This new responsibility binds me mentally to the club. I have a contract until 2007 at HSV, and I presume that I will fulfill it," says Ujfalusi.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004 

Rivaldo Set For Olympiakos Move

Rivaldo’s future appears to have been settled at last. He will be playing for Greek giants Olympiakos next season.
The former Barcelona and Milan star is expected to arrive today in Athens to sign his contract with the Champions League participants.

The Brazilian has been looking for a new club for some time, with Bolton and Celtic both registering interest in the summer months.

Rivaldo will be looking to re-ignite his career after a subdued couple of seasons.

The prospect of Champions League football will no doubt have been a major factor in his decision to join Olympiakos.



Chelsea clinch Tiago transfer

Portugal midfield player Tiago will travel to the United States with the rest of the Chelsea FC squad today after completing a reported €15m move from SL Benfica late last night.

Three-year deal
The 23-year-old signed a three-year contract on the day that Didier Drogba became Chelsea's record purchase, joining from Olympique de Marseille for an undisclosed fee between €35 and €40m. José Mourinho turned his attentions towards his countryman after failing to tempt Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard to London. Tiago was part of the Portugal squad which reached the final of UEFA EURO 2004™, although he did not play.

Cup winner
Groomed at SC Braga, he joined Benfica in December 2001 and excelled in 2002/03, scoring 13 times in 31 SuperLiga games. A Portuguese Cup winner last season, Tiago joins new recruits Mateja Kezman, Paulo Ferreira, Petr Cech and Arjen Robben at Stamford Bridge. There are unlikely to be any more Chelsea signings this summer after Mourinho said he wanted to finalise his squad before departing for the US, where the Blues will play Celtic FC, AS Roma and AC Milan.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004 

Benfica 1 – 0 Saragoça

Benfica got his second win in their second friendly game of the season, with a solitary goal by Zahovic. Still without the internationals Nuno Gomes, Miguel, Petit, Simão, Moreira, Quim, Fyssas and Luisão, Benfica played in a slow ritmo, still enouth to beat the spanish side.

Benfica – Yannick; João Pereira, Amoreirinha, Ricardo Rocha e Dos Santos; Paulo Almeida, João Vilela, Geovanni, Zahovic (cap.) e Bruno Aguiar, Sokota.
Bench: Manuel Fernandes (50’ Geovanni), Mantorras (59’ Sokota), Hélio Roque (71’ João Vilela) e João Coimbra (78’ Zahovic).
Coatch: Giovanni Trapattoni.

Saragoça – Lainez, Cuartero (cap.), Jimenez, Milito, Aranzabal, Ruben Garcia, Drulic, Galleti, Zapater, Granero e Soriano.
Bench: Zaparain, Álvaro Maior, Óscar Gonzalez, Toledo, Ponzio, Camacho, Lafita, Pina, Dorado, Filla e Generelo.
Coatch: Victor Muñoz

Goal: Zahovic (15’)

Monday, July 19, 2004 

Gomes sign for PSV

Dutch club PSV Eindhoven have signed Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Silva Gomes.

'Eager to sign'
The 23-year-old has left Cruzeiro EC and signed a four-year contract with last season's Eredivisie runners-up. A former member of Brazil's Olympic football team who has won five senior caps, Gomes said: "I think PSV is the best club with which to start a European adventure. They are a big name in Brazil and although other clubs were also interested in me, I was eager to sign for Eindhoven."

Qualifying round
Gomes had spent four years with Cruzeiro, whom he joined from Democrata SL. Earlier this summer, PSV also signed 20-year-old Australian goalkeeper Nathaniel Coe as well as Edwin Zoetebier from Feyenoord. The experienced Zoetebier, 35, is expected to start the season as first-choice keeper. PSV enter this season's UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round.


Sunday, July 18, 2004 

Intertoto Cup 3rd round: Thun 2 - 2 HSV

HSV began its European campaign for this season, with a 2-2 (0-2) draw away to the Swiss side Thun, in the third round of the Intertoto Cup on Saturday afternoon (17.7.04). HSV was 0-2 down at half time, after goals from Dos Santo (28.) and Ramondi (31.) put the Swiss side in the driving seat.

A question of character

HSV showed great character in the second half, and a brace of goals by the Argentinean striker Bernardo Romeo (49./85) gave the Hamburg side hope for the second leg which will be played in the AOL Arena next Saturday (24.7.04, kick off 7.00 pm, live coverage on Premiere TV).

Hot stuff

The game was played in sweltering heat and HSV had the first chance as a van Buyten header shaved the crossbar after 9 minutes. His Belgian international team mate Emile Mpenza also went close as he forced a good save from the Thun keeper Coltori after 17 minutes.

Swiss on a roll...

Despite those early opportunities, it was the Swiss side which struck twice before half time as first Antonio Dos Santos finished well from an acute angle and then the referee gave a more than dubious penalty after Björn Schlicke was adjudged to have fouled an opponent while going for a header. Raimondis gave Stefan Wächter no chance from the spot, and the Swiss side, who had beaten VFL Wolfsburg out 7-3 on aggregate over two legs in the previous round, went into the break with a two goal lead.

Attack is the best form of defence

HSV came out for the second half and took the game to Thun. Their pressure was rewarded as Bernardo Romeo pulled a goal back following good work by Beinlich and Jarolim. Mpenza missed a sitter shortly afterwards, the Belgian blasted over from a couple of yards out. Thun sat back and concentrated on counter attacks.

Wächter on top

Stefan Wächter was called upon several times, as the Swiss showed why they deservedly dumped Wolfsburg out of the competition last week. There were half chances on both sides, with HSV pressing for an equaliser. Five minutes from time they got the goal they wanted as Jarolim set up Romeo again who finished well to give HSV a more than deserved draw.

Bernie over the moon

Bernardo Romeo was understandably delighted with his double whammy: "I am very happy with my brace of goals. But that was only the beginning. We have to work hard because we are no where near 100 %," said Romeo. Coach Klaus Toppmöller was full of praise for Berniegoal" as well: "He is a real goal poacher; everyone could see just how important he is for our team. I was happy with the way we battled back after we had disappointed in the first half. We were closer to victory than Thun. I am convinced that we can finish the job next Saturday in the AOL Arena," said Toppi.

HSV: Wächter - Schlicke, van Buyten, Wicky - Benjamin, Jarolim, Beinlich, Kling - Barbarez, Mpenza, Romeo

FC Thun: Coltorti - Hodzic, Renggeli, Cerrone, Gerber - Deumi, Rainondi, Aegerter, Lustrinneli (60. Ojong). Ferreira - dos Santos

Goals: 1:0 dos Santos (28.), 2:0 Ramondi (31.FE), 2:1/2:2 Romeo (49./85)



Benfica sign Dos Santos

Portuguese Cup holders SL Benfica announced today the signing of French left-back Manuel dos Santos, from Olympique de Marseille. Dos Santos, 30, has signed a three-year contract with the Lisbon club and joins for an undisclosed fee.

Competition for places
A member of the Marseille side which reached the final of the UEFA Cup last season, he will face competition from Greek international Panagiotis Fyssas for a place in the Benfica team. The new Benfica coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, had been keen to recruit another full-back after the departures of Cristiano and Armando.

Title winner
Capped by France at Under-21 and 'B' levels, Dos Santos started his career at AS Monaco FC, where he won the league title. He then moved on to SC Montpellier Hérault for three seasons before joining Marseille ahead of the 2000/01 season.



Olympiacos pick up Rezic

Olympiacos CFP have signed Croatian international Ivan Rezic on a free transfer from NK Varteks.

Squad strengthening
The 25-year-old defender has penned a two-year contract at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium as the Greek club strengthens their squad ahead of their forthcoming UEFA Champions League campaign, which begins in the third qualifying round.

Croatian call-up
Rezic, who has been at Varteks since 1998, earned a call-up to Otto Baric's preliminary squad for UEFA EURO 2004™, but did not make the final cut.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004 

Copa America Results

Group A

Venezuela 1-1 Bolivia

Venezuela and Bolivia succeeded in eliminating each other Monday evening, as they played to a 1-1 draw at Mansiche stadium in Trujillo in the penultimate Group A match. Thus Colombia and Peru both advance out of Group A, with the only thing left needing to be decided which side will win the group. Bolivia finishes in third place with two points, whilst Venezuela brings up the rear with one point. The minnows still have not won in the Copa America since a victory in their first ever Copa America match. Both goals came in an even first half. Ruberth Moran sent Venezuela into the lead in the 27th minute, but Gonzalo Galindo equalized for Bolivia to keep their hopes of going to four points alive. But neither side could break through in the second half, thus dooming both countries to disappointing experiences in the 2004 Copa America.

VENEZUELA: Gilberto Angelucci; Luis Vallenilla, José Rey, Jonay Hernández, Alejandro Cichero; Ricardo Páez, Leopoldo Jimenez, Juan Arango, Andrée González (Leonel Vielma); Massimo Margiotta (Héctor González), Dickson Morán (Alexander Rondón).

BOLIVIA: Leonardo Fernández; Miguel Hoyos, Sergio Jáuregui, Lorgio Álvarez, Ronald Arana, Ronald Raldes; Limberg Gutiérrez, Limberg Pizarro (Ruben Trufiño); Miguel Mercado (Juan Carlos Arce), Joaquín Botero, Roger Suárez (Walter Flores).

GOALS: 1-0, Dickson Móran (27'); 1-1, Gonzalo Galindo (33')

Peru 2-2 Colombia

Edwin Congo

Peru fought back bravely from a two-goal deficit but could not get past Colombia in a 2-2 draw to conclude Group A on Monday night. The hosts finish a disappointing second in the group, whilst the Cafeteros wound up winners. The defending champions began to click after a tense opening twenty minutes. Edwin Congo rewarded his manager for the start with a first half goal in the 34th minute. Peruvian goalkeeper Oscar Ibanez perhaps was a bit to blame, but nonetheless the Levante striker was in perfect position to head home Elkin Murillo’s cross. Abel Aguiar then put the Cafeteros two-goals up with a strike ten minutes into the second half. But Peru struck back with two goals in a four-minute span to stun Reinaldo Rueda’s men, who had not surrendered a goal in eight Copa America matches. First Nolberto Solano beat Juan Carlos Henao with a free kick, and then the midfielder had a hand in Flavio Maestri’s equalizer. Solano served a ball into the area, which Andres Mendoza knocked down for Maestri. The Vitoria forward headed home to send Trujillo into hysterics. From there the Peruvian whirlwind appeared to pick up momentum as Solano and Roberto Palacios owned the Colombian midfield, trying to will their side to victory and the Group A title. But luckily for Colombia the storm passed as quickly as it came when Ciurlizza replaced the sensational Solano in the Peruvian midfield with just a few minutes left. Colombia advances as the top team out of Group A, whereas hosts Peru get a quarterfinal date with one of the teams from the group of death.

PERU: Oscar Ibañez; Santiago Acasiete, Miguel Rebosio (Jorge Soto), Walter Vílchez, Guillermo Salas; Nolberto Solano (Marko Ciurlizza), Juan Jayo, Roberto Palacios; Flavio Maestri (Pedro Garcia), Andrés Mendoza, Jefferson Farfán.

COLOMBIA: Juan Henao; Arley Rodríguez (Andrés González), Gustavo Victoria, Gonzalo Martínez, Andrés Orozco; Oscar Asprilla, Néider Morantes (David Ferreira), Jhon Viáfara, Abel Aguilar; Elkin Amor, Edwin Congo (Edixon Perea).

GOALS: 0-1, Edwin Congo (33'); 0-2, Abel Aguilar (53'); 1-2, Norberto Solano (58'); 2-2, Flavio Maestri (60')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Colombia 3 7
2. Peru 3 5
3. Bolivia 3 2
4. Venezuela 3 1


Monday, July 12, 2004 

Copa America Results

Group C

Brazil 4-1 Costa Rica


Brazil quieted the critics with its offensive exploits in their 4-1 win over Costa Rica. Adriano led the way with a hat trick. In the process the Selecao booked passage into the quarterfinals, and they lead Group C with six full points. Costa Rica, meantime, are all but eliminated from the Copa America. Brazil had the first quality chance of the match after a poor giveaway in midfield by Costa Rica. Adriano fired a 30-yard laser that missed the far post by centimeters in the twelfth minute. The Ticos struck back shortly after, but Steven Bryce shot right at Julio Cesar from the top right corner of the penalty area. Midway through the first half a great sequence of one-touch passes by Costa Rica shredded the yellow defense, but the cross just missed the jump of Bryce at the back post. Costa Rica had most of the run of play for the first quarter of the match, but Brazil began to take over the final quarter hour of the first half. The Selecao struck a vicious blow to the Costa Rican psyche just before halftime. Adriano showed glorious touch after getting in behind the Ticos to trap down a long ball from beyond midfield. Then the Inter Milan forward dribbled past the sprawled Ricardo Gonzalez before firing the ball into the roof of the net from 15 yards on forty-five minutes. Juan doubled the lead five minutes into the second half. A deft touch from Alex sprung the Bayer Leverkusen defender behind the Ticos’ defense for a rare foray into the opposite penalty area. Juan had no problems slotting the ball past poor Gonzalez. Costa Rica fought back quickly, but once again Julio Cesar made a brilliant save on Bryce’s wicked volley. But the dangerous chance failed to spark the Ticos as Adriano headed in his second goal of the match in the 55th minute to ensure the Auriverde’s place in the final eight. Gonzalez came off his line to punch a corner kick but missed everything, and Adriano was left with a wide-open goal. Adriano then punctuated the victory with his hat trick in the 68th minute. Luis Marin brought a bit of honor to the Ticos, when he kicked in a loose ball on a corner kick. And Julio Cesar was forced to tip over Andy Herron’s impressive volley with a few minutes left to thwart the mini comeback.

BRAZIL: Julio César; Mancini, Luisão, Juan, Gustavo Nery; Renato, Kléberson (Diego), Alex, Edu (Dudu Cearense); Adriano, Luis Fabiano (Vagner Love).

COSTA RICA: Ricardo Fonseca; Luis Marín, Leonardo González, Try Benneth, Mauricio Wright; Alonso Solís, Walter Centeno, Cristian Badilla (Ronald Gómez), Steven Valerio, Duglas Sequeira; Alvaro Saborio (Andy Hérron).

GOALS: 1-0, Adriano (49'); 2-0, Juan (49'); 3-0, Adriano (54'); 4-0, Adriano (67'); 4-1, Luis Marín (81')

Paraguay 1-1 Chile

Paraguay came from behind to draw Chile 1-1 in Group C action. The result gives the Paraguayns four points, good enough for second place behind Brazil. Barring a win by either Chile or Costa Rica on Wednesday and a horrible result against Brazil, Paraguay can book their place in the final eight. Sebastian Gonzalez atoned for his penalty miss against Brazil, by firing Chile into the lead in the 71st minute. Gonzalez slid to meet midfielder Mauricio Aros' cross to beat goalkeeper Justo Villar. But Ernesto Cristaldo equalized with a left-footed rocket from distance in the 78th minute to give Paraguay a share of the points. Up until Gonzalez's opener, and finally Cristaldo's wonder-strike, the match proved to be a snorefest for the fans when compared to Brazil's and Costa Rica's exciting appetizer.

PARAGUAY: Justo Villar; Carlos Gamarra; Ernesto Cristaldo, Pedro Benítez, Derlis González; Edgar Barreto, Diego Figueredo (Dante López), Carlos Paredes, Aureliano Torres; Freddy Bareiro (Emilio Martinez), Nelson Haedo (Julio dos Santos).

CHILE: Claudio Bravo; Luis Fuentes, Rodrigo Pérez (Mauricio Aros), Ismael Fuentes, Rafael Olarra; Clarence Acuña (Rodrigo Millar), Rodrigo Valenzuela, Milovan Mirosevic, Rodrigo Meléndez; Sebastián González, Patricio Galaz (Moises Villarroel).

GOALS: 0-1, Sebastián González (11'); 1-1, Ernesto Cristaldo (78')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Brazil 2 6
2. Paraguay 2 4
3. Chile 2 1
4. Costa Rica 2 0

Sunday, July 11, 2004 

All roads lead to... Moscow

The talks between CSKA Moscow and River Plate, over the transfer of Fernando Cavenaghi, have endeed, with no agreement beeing reached. Even so, the final destination for El Torito will still be Moscow. Spartak has stepped in the story. The russians giants have turned their interest in a concret offer, of 10.000.000 USD, even better that the one presented by CSKA. According to the argentinan press, their is an agreement between the clubs. Cavenaghi's agent is in Europe, and in the next days, he's expected to meet with Spartak's representants to talk about the player's wage and lenght of contract.


Copa America Results

Group B

Uruguay 2-1 Ecuador

Diego Forlan and Marcelo Sosa

Uruguay defeated Ecuador 2-1 on Saturday night in the Copa America courtesy of second half strikes from Diego Forlan and Carlos Bueno. The match appeared to be headed for a deadlock because the scoreless first half suggested that both sides were playing very cautiously. However, this all changed when Manchester United striker Diego Forlan made a daring solo run up the middle of the park and scored from 23 yards out in the 61st minute to bring this match to life. But Ecuador, just as they did against Argentina, tied the score line at 1-1 when replacement forward Franklin Salas equalized in the 73rd minute after knocking home a cross from full back Ulises de la Cruz. But Ecuador, just as they did against Argentina, squandered the even scoeline as Carlos Bueno scored the eventual game winning goal in the 79th minute by poking in a rebound over goalkeeper Giovanny Ibarra for his second goal of the tournament. The victory was the 99th in Copa history for Uruguay, which plays Argentina at Piura on Tuesday. The loss has virtually eliminated Ecaudor from the competition as they have 0 points from their first two matches.

URUGUAY: Luis Barbat; Joe Bizera, Dario Rodriguez, Paolo Montero (Eduardo Lago); Marcelo Sosa, Gustavo Varela, Omar Pouso, Cristian Rodríguez (Vicente Sánchez); Debray Darío Silva, Carlos Bueno, Diego Forlan (Diego Pérez).

ECUADOR: Geovanni Ibarra; Iván Hurtado, Ulises De la Cruz, Geovanny Espinoza, Neicer Reasco; Alfonso Obregón, Kléber Chala, Édison Méndez (Evelio Ordoñez), Edwin Tenorio (Franklim Salas), Alex Aguinaga; Agustín Delgado.

GOALS: 1-0, Diego Forlan (61'); 1-1, Franklim Salas (72'); 2-1, Carlos Bueno (79')

Argentina 0-1 Mexico

Ramón Morales

Argentina, fresh off their 6-1 dismantling of Ecuador, were stunned by Mexico 1-0 Friday night in Chiclayo. The Albiceleste fall to third place in deadly Group B, one behind Uruguay and Mexico. Ramon Morales stunned Marcelo Bielsa's men with a goal inside ten minutes. Morales zipped a classy free kick past goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri, who stood no chance on the shot.
The Tricolores proved to be a much sturdier side than Argentina's opening round opponents, who simply collapsed under pressure over the final thirty minutes. Javier Saviola, Andres D'Alessandro and company failed to find the space that killed off Ecuador, despite controlling play for the remainder of the match. To their credit Mexico was able to sustain threatening counterattacks to keep Argentina honest, thus limiting the numbers thrown forward in the attack. Goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez made a few crucial saves in the second half as Argentina earned a slew of corner kicks. Roberto Ayala had the best chance to equalize, but his header was parried magnificently by Sanchez.

ARGENTINA: Roberto Abbondanzieri; Roberto Fabián Ayala, Juan Pablo Sorín (Luciano Figueroa), Gabriel Heinze, Javier Zanetti; Javier Mascherano, Andrés D'Alessandro, Luis González (Mauro Rosales), Kily González; Javier Saviola, César Delgado (Carlos Tevez).

MEXICO: Oswaldo Sánchez; Gabriel Briceño (Octavio Valdez), Rafael Márquez, Duilio Davino, David Oteo, Ricardo Osorio; Gerardo Torrado, Pavel Pardo, Ramón Morales (Daniel Osorno), José Arellano; Jared Borgetti (Hector Altamirano).

GOALS: 0-1, Ramón Morales (8')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Uruguay 2 4
2. Mexico 2 4
3. Argentina 2 3
4. Ecuador 2 0


Saturday, July 10, 2004 

Copa America Results

Group A

Colombia 1-0 Bolivia

Edixon Perea

Colombia assured themselves of a place in the quarterfinals after defeating Bolivia 1-0 at Estadio Nacional in Lima. Despite being outplayed for long stretches Friday evening, Bolivia could still advance beyond the group stage with a win over Venezuela on Monday. Bolivia actually had the first good chance of the match on nine minutes, but Miguel Mercado headed over the goal. Fifteen minutes later Colombia’s Tressor Moreno latched onto a delightful ball from Gonzalo Martinez, but his acrobatic volley was deflected clear by Leonardo Fernandez. Bolivia went right back down the pitch, and drew a dangerous free kick. But while Henao did not grab it cleanly, there never was any doubt about him saving the shot either. Colombia put intense pressure on their opponents in the opening quarter hour of the second half. Four minutes after the break Oscar Diaz shot powerfully at Fernandez, but the Chacaritas Juniors keeper blocked the shot with his chest. Moreno eluded a defender inside the area just before the hour mark, but blazed his shot high and wide. Then a couple minutes later Sergio Herrera left Fernandez flat-footed but his header floated just beyond the far post. Reinaldo Rueda inserted Elkin Murillo and Edixon Perea in an attempt to give the Cafeteros’ attack a gilt-edged look over the final quarter hour. With five minutes remaining Colombia advanced all the way to the six yard line before Fernandez came out to block Gustavo Victoria’s toe-poke. But eventually Perea proved Rueda to be a genius. The Atletico Nacional striker was left unmarked in the 90th minute, and looped a header from the penalty spot over Fernandez for a deserved winner.

COLOMBIA: Juan Henao; Andrés Orozco, Arley Rodríguez, Gustavo Victoria, Gonzalo Martínez; Oscar Asprilla, David Ferreira (Edixon Perea), Jairo Patiño, Abel Aguilar (Jhon Viáfara); Tressor Moreno (Elkin Amor), Sergio Herrera.

BOLÍVIA: Leonardo Fernández; Sergio Jáuregui, Lorgio Álvarez, Ronald Arana, Ronald Raldes; Luis Cristaldo (Walter Flores), Rubén Tufiño, Limberg Gutiérrez, Limberg Pizarro; Miguel Mercado (Roger Suarez), Joaquín Botero.

GOALS: 1-0, Edixon Perea (89')

Peru 3-1 Venezuela

Norberto Solano

Peru put forth a massive effort at Estadio Nacional in the capital city of Peru to overpower Venezuela 3-1 in Copa America Group A action. Peru put constant pressure on Venezuelan goalkeeper Gilberto Angelucci over the entire ninety minutes. Barring a massive collapse against Colombia in their final Group A match, Peru will advance to the round of eight. Jefferson Farfan fired an early warning shot wide of Angelucci’s post from 20 yards. Some nifty passing freed Peru’s Andres Mendoza for a clean shot from 16 yards in the 27th minute, but the former Club Brugges forward’s shot across goal flashed inches wide of the post. On thirty-three minutes Farfan benefited from another set of quick Peruvian passes only to see his shot blocked over the goal by a defender. But glory did not elude the new PSV signing for much longer. Some poor communication between goalkeeper and defender led to the opener with eleven minutes left in the first half. Angelucci ran out to the top of the box to punch a high ball, but only succeeded in knocking the ball off the back of his defender, Alejandro Chicero, before falling to the ground. With Angelucci on the carpet, Farfan pounced on the spilled goods like a kid at a piñata party and chipped the ball into the goal. Five minutes into the second half, Roberto Palacios hit side netting after picking Venezuelan pockets a few yards from Angelucci’s goal. On 54 Peru stayed one step ahead of the defense with some unselfish passing, but Mendoza pushed his nine-yard shot to the right of the post. Just before the hour mark Massimo Margiotta lumbered onto the pitch to give Venezuela another attacking option, but the Vicenza striker brought bad luck initially. On the hour mark Mendoza bounced a header down at goal, but Angelucci batted the ball before it bounced over his head and the goal line. A couple minutes later, however, Nolberto Solano doubled the Peruvian lead from 14 yards to send the supporters into another frenzy. Miguel Mea Vitali was perhaps unnecessarily sent off for an early shower midway through the second half, confirming which team would win the match. Defender Santiago Acasiete scored Peru’s third with a powerful diving header, but Margiotta pulled one back for Venezuela in less than two minutes with a powerful dipping volley from the top of the box. To Venezuela’s credit they did not quit over the final quarter hour, keeping Oscar Ibanez awake through a series of shots. The entertainment turned sour late, when Peru captain Claudio Pizarro was sent off for an overzealous challenge after a whistle to stop play.

PERU: Oscar Ibañez; Santiago Acasiete, Miguel Rebosio, Walter Vílchez, Guillermo Salas; Nolberto Solano (Jorge Soto), Juan Jayo, Roberto Palacios (Marko Ciurlizza); Claudio Pizarro, Andrés Mendoza (Flavio Maestri), Jefferson Farfán.

VENEZUELA: Gilberto Angelucci; Luis Vallenilla, José Rey, Jonay Hernández, Alejandro Cichero (Massino Margiotta), Jorge Rojas; Miguel Ángel Vitali, Ricardo Páez (Héctor González), Leopoldo Jimenez, Juan Arango; Alexander Rondón.

GOALS: 1-0, Jefferson Farfán (33'); 2-0, Norberto Solano (61'); 3-0, Santiago Acasieste (72'); 3-1, Massimo Margiotta (74')

SENT-OFF: Miguel Ángel Vitalí (65'); Claudio Pizarro (87')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Colombia 2 6
2. Peru 2 4
3. Bolivia 2 1
4. Venezuela 2 0



Stal Mielec 0-5 Wisła Kraków

Wisła Kraków has won 5-0 in the semi-final of the 65th year jubilee of Stal Mielec Club. The Polish champions will now play in the final of the pre-season tournament against Górnik Łęczna, who won in the other semi-final.

Stal Mielec 0–5 Wisła
Górnik Łęczna 1-1 Kolporterem Korona Kielce (5-4 on penalties)

WISŁA: Majdan (46. Wróbel) – Baszczyński (46. Mysiak), Kłos (46. Kowalczyk), Głowacki (46. Fechner), Mijailović (46. Stolarczyk) – Kwiek, Kukiełka, Cantoro, Zieńczuk (46. Ekwueme) – Żurawski (46. Kuźba), Frankowski (46. Omeonu)

GOALS: 0-1, Frankowski (14'); 0-2, Zieńczuk (29'); 0-3, Żurawski (41'pen); 0-4, Kuźba (76'); 0-5, Cantoro (80')


Athletic Blibao's pre-season friendlies

Athletic Club has arranged the following matches por the 2004-2005 pre-season:

Peña Sport - Athletic Bilbao (July 31st)
FC Groningen - Athletic Bilbao (August 5th)
SC Heerenven - Athletic Bilbao (August 7th)
Numancia - Athletic Bilbao (August 11th)
Racing Santander - Athletic Bilbao (August 14th)
Athletic Bilbao - Olympiacos (August 21st) - Presentation Match


Botafogo 5-1 Internacional

The tide is turning for Botafogo. After achieving its first vicotry in the tournament last sunday, the Rio team won for the first time vefore its fans. And it was not just any victory, but an astounishing 5-1 performance, over Internacional. The vicotry took Botafogo away from the last place in the table. Almir, Raúl Estevez, Luizão, Camacho and Túlio scored for the alvinegros.

BOTAFOGO: Jefferson; Ruy (Camacho), Gustavo, Rafael Marques, Renatinho; Túlio, Fernando, Valdo, Almir (Têti); Raúl Estevez (Carlos Alberto), Luizão.

INTERNACIONAL: Clemer; Bolívar, Edinho, Vinícius, Chiquinho; Gavilán (Marcelo Labarthe), Marabá, Wellington, Danilo (Élder Granja); Rafael Sobis, Dauri (Kauê).

GOALS: 1-0, Almir (21'); 2-0, Estevez (48'); 2-1, Rafael Sovis (67'); 3-1, Luizão (70'); 4-1, Camacho (79'); 5-1, Túlio (92')

Brasileirão League Table

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Palmeira 13 25
2. São Paulo 13 24
3. Figueirense 13 23
4. Santos 13 22
5. Cruzeiro 13 21
23. Botafogo 13 12

Friday, July 09, 2004 

Copa America Results

Group C

Costa Rica 0-1 Paraguay

Costa Rica looked to have earned a 0-0 draw with Paraguay until substitute Fredy Barreiro collapsed at the slightest of contact from Mauricio Wright. It was enough to convince Colombian referee Oscar Ruiz, as he did not hesitate to award the decisive penalty. Paraguay gradually found their true form in this contest after a dismal first half performance. Costa Rica seemed to catch Paraguay by surprise in the early going with their fluent passing play, as Andy Herron and Ronald Gomez looked dangerous all evening. Gomez came close to breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute but his left-footed volley was parried at the by goalkeeper Diego Barreto. Barreto was called into action again four minutes later as he saved another close range shot from Gomez. As time wore on neither side seemed able to produce the entertaining football we have grown accustom to in the matches prior to his one. However, the arrival of substitute Dos Santos provided Paraguay with a pacey attacking threat down the right flank, and Paraguay created a several scoring chances as a result of the tactical switch. The best chance fell to Carlos Paredes, but the Reggina anchorman saw his close range header sail agonizingly over the bar. No worries in the end for Paraguay, who in the end got the result they were aiming for and now have a realistic chance of advancing from the group. Meanwhile, Costa Rica face an uphill battle as their two remaining matches are against Chile and Brazil.

COSTA RICA: Ricardo Fonseca; Luis Marín, Leonardo González, Try Benneth, Mauricio Wright; Walter Centeno, Cristian Badilla, Steven Valerio, Duglas Sequeira; Ronald Gómez (Alonso Solís), Andy Herrón (Alvaro Saborio).

PARAGUAY: Diego Barreto; Emilio Martínez, Carlos Gamarra, José Devaca (Pedro Benitez), Ernesto Cristaldo; Jorge Britez (Julio dos Santos), Edgar Barreto, Diego Figueredo (Freddy Bareiro, Carlos Paredes; Aureliano Torres, Nelson Haedo.

GOALS: 0-1, Julio dos Santos (85',pen)

Brazil 1-0 Chile

Luis Fabiano

Luis Fabiano headed in the winner off from a corner kick in the 90th minute to give Brazil all three points and move them into a tie for first place in the group with Paraguay. Chile had their fair share of scoring chances but none greater than when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 24th minute. Sebastian Gonzalez converted the initial attempt but the match official ordered a retake because Chilean players had entered the box before the ball was struck. A gutsy call from the match official because Gonzalez blazed his second shot over the crossbar. Both teams created several scoring chances and the match could have gone either way.

BRAZIL: Julio César; Mancini (Maicon), Luisão, Juan, Gustavo Nery; Renato, Alex, Edu, Dudu Cearense (Diego); Adriano (Ricardo Oliveira), Luis Fabiano.

CHILE: Alex Varas; Luis Fuentes, Rodrigo Pérez, Rafael Olarra; Clarence Acuña, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Moisés Villarroel, Jonathan Cisternas (Luis Gimenez), Milovan Mirosevic, Rodrigo Meléndez; Sebastián González (Hector Mancilla).

GOALS: 1-0, Luis Fabiano (90')



Benfica To Approach Roma And Inter For Dellas And Karagounis

Dellas (on the right) celebrate with Charisteas the Greek silver goal

New Benfica boss Giovanni Trapattoni is chasing Roma defender Traianos Dellas and Inter midfielder Giorgos Karagounis.
Trapattoni believes that with the arrival of Roberto Mancini at Inter, Karagounis will not have a place in Inter’s team and that the Greek ace is the ideal player for his new side. As for Dellas, Trap can see him fitting in well at the back.

Karagounis and Fyssas with the European Cup. can they celebrate together again in Estádio da Luz?

It is believed that both Greek internationals would be keen on playing alongside fellow countryman Takis Fyssas at Benfica.

Dellas had an outstanding Euro 2004 and will likely attract interest from other clubs, while Karagounis has been linked with Fiorentina.


Thursday, July 08, 2004 

PSG Considering Carew Move

Paris Saint Germain appear to be interested in signing Norwegian striker John Carew.
The French club have sent an offer to Valencia for the services of the striker as Carew's chances of first team football with the Spanish champions seem limited after the club brought in Corradi for the forward line.

Carew was on loan to Roma last season, but failed to leave his mark in what can be considered a poor season for him.



HSV: No Offer For Ujfalusi

Hamburger SV have revealed that they have had no offer for Czech defender Tomas Ujfalusi from any other club, and hope to refuse any future bids for the 26-year-old.
Ujfalusi was one of the stars of the Czech Republic's run to the semi-finals of the European Championship and has been linked with Juventus in the past. However, at the HSV pre-season training camp at Glücksburg, Sport Director Dietmar Beiersdorfer said: "We saw what a class player he is at Euro 2004. Of course there’s speculation, but no club has made an offer for Tomas yet. I can’t imagine anyone coming in with an offer for him that we can’t refuse.

Klaus Toppmöller's side has been seriously strengthened this summer with the additions of Emile Mpenza, Benjamin Lauth, and Daniel van Buyten. Hamburg are expected to chllange for Champions League football in the new Bundesliga season which they kick off on August 7 against Bayern Munich at the AOL Arena.



Copa Americ Results

Group B

Mexico 2-2 Uruguay

Paolo Montero

Mexico had the better of play in the opening forty-five, with Francisco Palencia an early thorn in Uruguay’s side. The Guadalajara forward had two threatening shots midway through the first half, but difficult angles conspired against him. The first half ended with two goals. First Carlos Bueno managed to get free in the Mexican area, and he powered a twelve-yard shot past Oswaldo Sanchez. But an innocuous cross-turned-shot by Ricardo Osorio drew the Tricolores level in first half stoppage time. Osorio’s 25-yard goal floated over goalkeeper Luis Barbat and off the far post. Barbat, who was a late replacement for Fabian Carini, had positioning issues all evening. In the second half Pavel Pardo put Mexico ahead with a vicious shot from 32 yards. Again Barbat was caught off his line. The ball dipped violently behind the Danubio player, who no doubt was as much surprised by the mercurial shot as much as he was poorly placed. Diego Forlan nearly equalized a few minutes later but shot over from six yards after a nice flick-on header, and Jorge Fossati inserted Juan Parodi in place of the ineffective Manchester United striker at the next opportunity. Adolfo Bautista replaced Palencia, and had a terrific chance to extend the lead after being put through clean on goal. But the Guadalajara striker shot just wide of the far post as Barbat just closed down enough. Substitute Richard Morales thought he had the equalizer on 80 minutes but Sanchez deflected with his leg. Moments later the Osasuna striker was given a straight red by Peruvian referee Gilberto Hidalgo for a mistimed tackle against Pardo in midfield. He had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes! A few minutes from the death Uruguay won a rare corner kick, and some poor jumping by Duilio Cesar Davino left Paolo Montero with a textbook header, low and past the dive of Sanchez. Fossati has to be thanking his lucky stars his side was able to salvage one point. Despite the mysterious absence of Mexico’s all-everything midfielder Gerardo Torrado, Uruguay were never able to do much of anything in midfield. Ricardo Lavolpe will be reaching for the antacid tablets after a couple of defensive lapses cost the Tricolores three points.

MEXICO: Oswaldo Sánchez; Duilio Davino, Rafael Márquez, José Carmona, Ricardo Osorio; David Oteo (Hector Altamirano), Pavel Pardo, Jaime Lozano, Octavio Valdez; Francisco Palencia (Adolfo Bautista), Jared Borgetti (José Arellano).

URUGUAY: Luis Barbat; Paolo Montero, Dario Rodriguez, Joe Bizera; Gustavo Varela, Omar Pouso (Vicente Sánchez), Marcelo Sosa, Cristian Rodríguez; Debray Darío Silva (Richard Morales), Diego Forlan (Martin Parodi), Carlos Bueno.

GOALS: 0-1, Carlos Bueno (42'); 1-1, Ricardo Osório (45'); 2-1, Pavel Pardo (68'); 2-2, Paolo Montero (86')

SENT-OFF: Richard Morales (82')

Argentina 6-1 Ecuador

Javier Saviola

Kily Gonzalez put Argentina ahead inside five minutes, converting a dubious penalty to the chagrin of Ecuadorian defender Ivan Hurtado. Saviola nearly opened his account before ten minutes, but Geovanny Ibarra made a lucky leg save. A quarter hour went by and Ibarra's counterpart, Roberto Abbondanzieri, could have taken a nap at Argentina's end of the pitch. On the hour mark Ecuador surprisingly equalized through Agustin Delgado. But Argentina regrouped quickly to regain the lead. Following some great passing Saviola beat Ibarra with a precise shot into the far side netting, and the rout was on. Saviola put the match out of reach in the 73rd minute, rising above Ibarra to head home a terrific cross from substitute Mauro Rosales. The Barca beauty completed his personal trifecta on a corner kick. Andres D'Alessandro beat Ibarra with a precise, low shot from distance with six minutes remaining. Then the Wolfsburg maestro delivered a sublime chip into the area for the run of Luis Gonzalez. The River Plate midfielder volleyed coolly past Ibarra, thus completing the demolition with an injury time cherry.

ARGENTINA: Roberto Abbondanzieri; Javier Zanetti, Gabriel Heinze, Juan Pablo Sorín, Roberto Ayala; Kily González (Clemente Rodriguez); Andrés D'Alessandro, Luis González, Javier Mascherano; Javier Saviola (Carlos Tévez), César Delgado (Mauro Rosales).

ECUADOR: Geovanni Ibarra; Ulises De la Cruz (Édison Méndez), Iván Hurtado, Neicer Reasco, Geovanny Espinoza; Alfonso Obregón, Paul Ambrossi, Edwin Tenorio (Franklim Salas), Kléber Chala, Marlon Ayoví; Evelio Ordoñez (Agustín Delgado).

GOALS: 1-0, Kily González (5',pen); 1-1, Agustín Delgado (60'); 2-1, Javier Saviola (63'); 3-1, Javier Saviola (74'); 4-1 Javier Saviola (80'); 5-1, Andrés D'Alessandro (84'); 6-1, Luís González (91')



Hard times in Hungary

Uncertainty surrounds the coming Hungarian season with several clubs set to be denied playing licences.

Financial problems
The Hungarian Football League is attempting to set strict guidelines for teams competing in the NB I in the coming season, but as things stand, six clubs have failed to satisfy the league's conditions. Now Kispest Honvéd FC, Ferencvárosi TC, Balaton FC, Diósgyöri VTK, Békéscsabai EFC and Videoton FCF all face being excluded from the competitition.

Successful clubs
The positive thing for Hungarian football is that the remaining six sides in the top flight have all managed to pass the rigorous tests set by the league, as they attempt to create increased stability in Hungarian football.

Not a trap
László Szieben president of Hungarian Football Federation said: "Our aim was not to make traps for the clubs. We just want the clubs to pay attention to every important thing. Not every club fulfilled the economic requirements. I believe that an angel will arrive to every club and will solve these problems. To be frank I hope that each club's management can find new investment."

Club licences
Hungary has also endorsed UEFA's Club Licensing system which sets requirements for all top-level teams, including stadium facilities, such as the condition of the stands and pitches, and the provision of floodlighting and press boxes. Newly-promoted Diósgyöri have already been told that they have not reached the required standard to be awarded a licence and another team from NB I B are now expected to be promoted in their place.



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