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Marseille book place in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals. (

19 mrt 2009 - Source:

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After having knocked out PSV from the UCL and eliminated FC Twente from the UEFA Cup earlier this season, Olympique Marseille needed extra time at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday night to also eliminate Ajax. Erik Gerets' team booked a place in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals following a 4-3 aggregate win over Ajax.
Ismail Aissati and Boudewijn Zenden
Two former PSV players were on the pitch on Wednesday night when the game got under way at the Amsterdam ArenA. Ismail Aissati made an appearance for the hosts, while Boudewijn Zenden was included in the L'OM starting line-up. Ajax, who celebrated their 109th anniversary, started the game brightly and deservedly took the lead after 33 minutes. Suárez played a through ball to Eyong Enoh. The Cameroon midfielder evaded the offside trap and coolly slotted home the opener, one-on-one with keeper Steve Mandanda. It was a short-lived lead for the visitors from Marseille cancelled out the deficit two minutes later. Bakary Koné found Mamadou Niang who slipped the ball through the legs of keeper Kenneth Vermeer; 1-1. Ajax regained the lead after 74 minutes, when Suárez produced a stroke of genius. The Ajax captain superbly rounded his marker and delivered the perfect cross with the outside of his right foot for Sulejmani to head home from close range; 2-1. The game went to extra time and five minutes into the second period, Boudewijn Zenden struck a free kick into the wall of defenders. The ball was not cleared and Taye Taiwo as well as Mamadou Samassa won aerial battles before Tyrone Mears headed home from close range, scoring a crucial goal, sending Marseille into the UEFA Cup quarter-finals, as they beat Ajax 4-3 on aggregate following the 2-2 draw.
Gerets' post-match reaction
'This is a great result for Olympique Marseille', said former PSV coach and club icon Erik Gerets at the post match conference. 'Ajax deserve credit: they were the better team tonight. After we had eliminated PSV from the Champions League, I felt it was a moral duty to knock out Ajax as well', concluded Gerets with a smile.
Photos: © Pics United


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