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No Dutch teams in UEFA Cup final (

24 Feb 2006 - Source:

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There will not be a Dutch team on the pitch of the Eindhoven Philips Stadium, when the UEFA Cup final is kicked off on 10 May. AZ and sc Heerenveen were eliminated lasts night, when they suffered defeats in the 'round of 32'.Heerenveen faced an uphill battle in Bukarest last night: they had to make amends for the 3-1 defeat they had suffered in the first leg at home. But the side, coached by Gertjan Verbeek, staged a brave fight back against Steaua Bukarest. The Frisians earned a 0-1 win. Arnold Bruggink, who was brought on as a substitute in the second period, superbly fired home a 20 yarder four minutes from final time and thus the former PSV player made sure of a win, which was not enough, though, to progress to the next stage. AZ were facing the challenge in the Alkmaarderhout to undo the 2-0 defeat they had sliiped into against Real Betis in the first leg. They were offered a wonderful opportunity to score an early goal, when the referee pointed at the spot after only four minutes. Landzaat failed to convert; he only hit the post. The team of coach Louis van Gaal kept on fighting and at half time they had cancelled out the deficit, as Arveladze and Jaliens had found the net. No goals were scored during the second half, so extra time was needed to get a result. In the fourth minute of the first half of extra time the AZ defence was caught napping and Melli grabbed his chance. The away goal proved to be deciisive for the team of former PSV striker Robert. Real Betis have now reached the knock out stages of the final sixteen teams. AZ will play hosts to PSV next Sunday at a domestic league game.