Victory boost for English clubs in UEFA Cup

February 15th, 2008 - 1:31 pm ICT by admin  

Hamburg, Feb 15 (DPA) Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers both earned victories while German duo Bayern Munich and SV Hamburg put themselves in strong positions to advance to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup. Two-time winners Tottenham triumphed 2-1 at Slavia Prague while Bolton were 1-0 winners over fancied Spanish side Atletico Madrid in first-leg matches Thursday.

The victories made it a good start in the Round of 32 for the Premier League’s contingent following Everton’s 2-0 win at Norway’s Brann Bergen on Wednesday.

Dimitar Berbatov (4th minute) and Robbie Keane (30) scored first-half goals for Tottenham before Slavia pulled one back in the 69th minute through David Strihavka.

Bolton travel to Madrid next week with the advantage of El-Hadj Diouf’s goal in the 74th minute.

Meanwhile Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Scottish side Aberdeen, and Hamburg were 3-1 winners at FC Zurich.

Nuremberg, the third Bundesliga side in action on the night, slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Portugal’s Benfica, where Ariza Makukula struck the 43rd-minute winner.

It was the first game in charge for Thomas von Heesen, who replaced the sacked Hans Meyer Monday.

Goals from Miroslav Klose and Hamit Altintop put Bayern into a strong position for the return leg in Munich next week.

However the four-time European champions were made to fight all the way by a spirited Aberdeen side depleted by injuries, who twice went in front through Josh Walker and Sone Aluko.

In Zurich, a first-half goal by David Jarolim and second-half strikes from Ivica Olic and Piotr Trochowski put SV Hamburg on the road to a comfortable victory.

Hamburg lost Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart who limped off with an ankle injury in the 33rd minute to be replaced by Jose Guerrero.

The Peru striker then set up the opening two goals in the 33rd and 67th minutes and earned the foul which led to Trochowski scoring with a direct free-kick in the 77th.

Zurich notched a consolation three minutes from time when a free-kick by Eric Hassli was fumbled onto the inside of the post by keeper Frank Rost and Irish referee Alan Kelly ruled the ball crossed the line.

Germany have hopes of five teams reaching the last 16. On Wednesday, Werder Bremen enjoyed a 3-0 home win over Portugal’s Braga, while Bayer Leverkusen earned a goalless draw at Turkish side Galatasaray.

Meanwhile Fiorentina, Italy’s lone representative in the tournament, earned a 1-0 win at Norways’s Rosenberg Trondheim where Romania striker Adrian Mutu was matchwinner in the 16th minute.

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