Valencia, Deportivo Move On In UEFA Cup
Valencia and Deportivo are the two Spanish survivors coing out of the group stages of the UEFA Cup. Deportivo came out with an improbable victory 16 minutes from time as Rodolfo Bodipo came off the bench and broke the hearts of French side Nancy who came to Riazor only needing a draw to move on to the next group of the European touranment.
Meanwhile, Valencia and St. Etienne helped each other out with a 2-2 draw seeing each into the next round. Brazilian forward Ilan gave the French side the lead on two separate ocassions while Fernando Morientes and Nikola Zigic equalized under the snow for Los Chés.
This is the first time since UEFA decided to go to their current format in the UEFA Cup that every Spanish team participating does not move one. Racing were left out of the running despite a brave showing against Manchester City at El Sardinero 3-1. Even though the Cantabrians dominated the game they were left one goal away. Ecuadorian international Felipe Caicedo’s goal in injury time sealed the Spaniards’ fate, putting PSG into the knockout stage on goal difference. Caicedo headed a cross from former Espanyol man Pablo Zabaleta.
The biggest shocker of the tournament was that of Sevilla elimination at the hands of Sampdoria. A header by former Argentine international Johnathan Bottinelli was the difference that booted the two-time cup champs. A the beginning of the match La Samp were just two points behind Sevilla.