My Soccer World

Football: England Flop McClaren Is Euro Football Hit

Posted on: December 4, 2008

PARIS, Dec 3, 2008: Former England boss Steve McClaren’s soccer rehabilitation continued on Wednesday when he guided Dutch club FC Twente into the UEFA Cup last 32.

McClaren, who was sacked after England’s dismal failure to reach the Euro 2008 finals, saw his side beat German visitors Schalke, managed by former Twente coach Fred Rutten, 2-1 to clinch one of the three qualifying places from Group A.

Rob Wielaert and Kenneth Perez scored the goals for the Dutch side while Gerald Asamoah’s late strike for Schalke was just a consolation and left the German team relying on other results next week if they are to go through.

In the night’s other game in the same pool, Manchester City, who had already made sure of their place in the last 32, were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Paris St Germain.

City have seven points, one more than Twente, but the draw with PSG was overshadowed by a groin injury suffered by Brazilian winger Elano.

“We hope he has not compromised himself too much with the injury,” said City boss Mark Hughes.

“It’s a blow because we are a little bit light in midfield. We cannot afford to lose too many bodies there.”

In Group D, Italian side Udinese made it three wins in three with a 2-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb and also reached the next stage.

Fabio Quagliarella struck in the fifth minute before Christian Obodo made the game safe with eleven minutes remaining. Igor Biscan reduced the deficit in injury time for the Croatians.

Former Liverpool striker Milan Baros scored a 69th-minute penalty to give Galatasaray a 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin and guarantee the Turkish side a spot in the next round from Group B.

Watched by Berlin’s huge Turkish expat community, Czech international Baros made no mistake from the spot beating Jaroslav Drobny in the Hertha goal after Steve von Bergen had handled a Harry Kewell cross.

Unheralded Slovakian side Metalist Kharkov also made sure of qualifying from the same section with a 1-0 win at home to Greek side Olympiakos with Edmar volleying the vital goal in the 87th minute.

Standard Liege made it three wins in three with a 3-0 Group C victory over Sampdoria which ensured the Belgians advanced.

Igor De Camargo, Oguchi Onyewu and Milan Jovanovic were all on target for the home side in the first half.

Sevilla, the champions in 2006 and 2007, enjoyed a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade with Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano scoring twice and compatriot Renato adding the third.

Despite the win, Sevilla are still not guaranteed of a place in the last 32.

The top three teams in each of the eight groups qualify for the next round where they will be joined by eight third-place finishers from the Champions League opening stage.

Eight more group matches take place on Thursday.

– AFP/yb

Channel News Asia

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