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Dutch clubs achieve UEFA Cup successes (

4 dec 2008 - Source:

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FC Twente and N.E.C. achieved UEFA Cup successes on Wednesday night. Steve McClaren's team progressed to the last 32, thanks to a 2-1 win at home over Jefferson Farfán's Schalke 04. N.E.C. kept their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive with a fine 2-1 win at Spartak Moscow.
Former PSV players Wielaert, Perez, Farfán and Rutten
FC Twente, with the former PSV players Rob Wielaert and Kenneth Perez, took on Schalke 04. Coach Fred Rutten, a former PSV assistant coach, handed a start to Jefferson Farfán, who left PSV during the summer transfer window. FC Twente got off to a dream start. Only two minutes were on the clock when the Schalke defenders failed to clear a Perez free kick. The ball fell to Blaise N'Kufo who had his effort saved by keeper Manuel Neuer, but Wielaert tapped home the rebound; 1-0. The home side took control after Wielaert's early strike but midway the first half Schalke moved forward and created some good chances. The Germans also dominated proceedings after the break, but FC Twente doubled their lead after 55 minutes. Eljero Elia found Perez who evaded his marker Jermaine Jones before unleashing a low drive that beat keeper Neuer. In spite of the 2-0 lead, FC Twente were unable to keep their composure and Gerald Asamoah reduced the deficit for Schalke in the 77th minute. Farfán took a corner and the ball fell to the German international who slotted home from close range. The visitors then surged forward in numbers, but FC Twente battled bravely to hold on for a 2-1 victory that sent them to the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.
N.E.C. keep hopes alive
Just when N.E.C. seemed to be eliminated from the UEFA Cup tournament by Spartak Moscow, they capped a fine performance with two late goals. Lasse Schöne scored the winning goal in the 87th minute with a left-footed low that beat keeper Stipe Pletikosa from 20 yards out, three minutes after substitute Jhon van Beukering had restored parity for N.E.C. The team from Nijmegen had dominated the whole game after Covalciuc had opened the scoring. N.E.C. owe their goalkeeper Gábor Babos for pulling off a string of excellent saves. The Hungarian denied Alexander Proednikov and Roman Sjisjkin in the hectic closing stages, while Ivan Saenko only hit the post. So N.E.C. tumed out 2-1 winners to keep their UEFA qualification hopes alive. The Nijmegen outfit have three points after three games, just as many as Spartak Moscow. N.E.C. will meet Udinese, who have already qualified for the next stages, in the final Group D game. Ajax boosted their chances of progressing to the last 32 when they recorded a 1-0 victory against HSV in Hamburg last week. Heerenveen will face Sporting Braga tonight. Feyenoord have already been knocked out of the competition.