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Rediff.com  » Sports » Spurs through to UEFA Cup group stage

Spurs through to UEFA Cup group stage

October 03, 2008 11:17 IST

Twice UEFA Cup winners Feyenoord and Tottenham Hotspur came through testing away ties on Thursday to progress to the group stage of the competition.

Feyenoord overturned a 1-0 home defeat to win 2-1 against Swedish league leaders Kalmar and go through on away goals while a 1-1 draw for Spurs in Poland helped the Premier League strugglers eliminate Wisla Krakow 3-2 on aggregate in the first round.

A second-half goal from Andriy Shevchenko eased AC Milan past FC Zurich, the seven-times European champions prevailing 4-1 on aggregate after a 1-0 win in Switzerland.

Sevilla, the 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup winners, will be among the 40 teams waiting for next week's group stage draw, two goals from Mali striker Frederic Kanoute completing a 4-0 aggregate victory over Austria's Salzburg.

A goalkeeping blunder gave Feyenoord the perfect start against Kalmar as they levelled the tie after 18 minutes.

Kalmar's Petter Wasta tried to block a 25-metre shot from Feyenoord's teenage midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum with his gloves but misjudged the trajectory and diverted the ball into the net.

Lasse Johansson drove in an equaliser two minutes after halftime but the Dutch team went ahead again five minutes later when Leroy Fer's header deflected in off Ermin Nouri.

Tottenham gave some respite to under-fire manager Juande Ramos with a resolute display.

Gareth Bale's teasing cross into the danger area was diverted into his own net by Wisla defender Arkadiusz Glowacki just before the hour and put Spurs 3-1 up in the tie.

Wisla set up a frantic finale when Pawel Brozek lobbed Heurelho Gomes seven minutes from time.

The Brazilian keeper then came to Spurs's rescue, making a fine save to keep out a Brozek header and another from a Cleber volley. "I thought we showed character. A lot has been made of our start this season, it's not been good in the league so it's important we get going in the cups," Spurs captain Ledley King told Channel Five TV.

GOOD RESULT

"We had a good result in the League Cup and now we have progressed in the UEFA Cup."

There was relief for another former Spurs coach as Dutchman Martin Jol's Hamburg SV put out Romania's Unirea Urziceni 2-0 thanks to a double by Croatia forward Mladen Petric.

Unirea, managed by former Romania and Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu and second in the domestic championship, held Hamburg to a goalless draw in Germany but faced an uphill battle once Petric fired home after 27 minutes.

Petric's second early in the second half sealed the contest.

Jol, sacked by Spurs last October, has made a bright start in charge of the German side who top the Bundesliga early in the season.

Hamburg lost the 1982 UEFA Cup final to IFK Gothenburg, two years after they were beaten by Nottingham Forest in the European Cup final.

The Bundesliga will be well represented in the group stage. Schalke 04 knocked out APOEL Nicosia, VfL Wolfsburg ousted Rapid Bucharest and VfB Stuttgart needed two late goals from Thomas Hitzlsperger and Mario Gomez to defeat Bulgaria's Cherno More Varna.

Hertha Berlin went through on Tuesday but Italy's Udinese prevented a clean sweep by German teams when they won a penalty shootout to oust Borussia Dortmund.

Source:
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