Milan held in Bremen; Hamburg win away in Champions League

February 19th, 2009 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

AC MilanHamburg, Feb 19 (DPA) Brazilian midfielder Diego scored late in the game to give German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen a share of the spoils against former Champions League winners AC Milan in a UEFA Cup first-leg game in the round of 32.
In other matches Wednesday, SV Hamburg comfortably won 3-0 at Dutch club NEC Nijmegen, while VfL Wolfsburg lost 2-0 at PSG.

In Bremen, Filippo Inzaghi thought he had given the Serie A club victory with his 36th-minute goal as Werder Bremen failed to capitalize on the many chances they created in the second half.

Six minutes from the end, however, Diego chested down a headed pass from Hugo Almeida and pushed the ball past compatriot Dida in the Milan goal.

“One-one against AC Milan is not bad, but it is not good enough for all the effort we put in. That we played in their half most of the second half makes me happy, but I am sad that we did not have the same commitment in the first half,” Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf said.

SV Hamburg took a giant step toward the last 16 with a 3-0 victory at NEC Nijmegen, through goals by Piotr Trochowski, Alex Silva and Ivica Olic.

“We have passed the finishing line with one leg,” Olic said, while goalkeeper Frank Rost said that he had been disappointed with the opponents. “We do not have to make them better than they were. That was not that which we are used from the Bundesliga.”

In Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in the stadium as Guillaume Hoarau gave PSG goals in the 80th and 86th minute - both benefiting from blunders by Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath said that his side would push to turn the result around the February 26 return leg: “We are still in with a chance.”

He defended his goalkeeper. “Of course he made mistakes,” Magath said, “but he is a good goalkeeper and has won us many games.”

Portuguese club Braga enjoyed a good victory against Belgian team Standard Liege, winning 3-0.

Renteria gave the home side the lead in the 18th minute with a long-range effort. Just nine minutes later, Leone added a second for Braga after receiving a pass from Evaldo.

Standard’s chances of making it through to the next round were made even more difficult late in the game when Luis Aguiar scored his fifth goal of the UEFA Cup campaign to give Braga a convincing victory.

It was a good night for Russian clubs in the competition as holders Zenit St Peterburg won, and CSKA Moscow returned from England with a good away draw.

Zenit got off to the perfect start against visiting Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart as Szabolcs Huszti gave the home side the lead after just two minutes as both sides struggled with the minus-10-degree temperature.

Although Germany striker Mario Gomez equalized for the German team after a quarter of an hour, Bayern Munich-bound Anatoliy Tymoshchuk found the winner just before the break.

What made Zenit’s performance even more remarkable was that the side’s last competitive game was in early December, as the Russian league has yet to begin the new season.

CSKA Moscow will go into their home game against Aston Villa with a slight advantage after playing to a 1-1 draw in England.

Brazilian Vagner Love gave the visitors the lead against the run of play early in the first half, but Villa’s Swedish striker John Carew levelled in the 69th minute to give the high-flying Premier League side, which missed a number of excellent chances to secure a victory on the night, a chance for the return leg.

Saint Etienne scored an impressive 3-1 victory in Greece against Olympiacos, while struggling Spanish club Valencia drew 1-1 in Kiev against Dynamo.

The former champions took the lead in the eighth minute through David Silva, but Florina Cernat struck back for the Kiev side with a free-kick that took a deflection.

Dynamo were reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute after Artem Milevskiy was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Spanish club Deportivo lost 3-0 at Aalbork, while Bordeaux were held to a goalless draw by Galatasary. Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv stunned Sampdoria 1-0 in Genoa.

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