UEFA Cup: Hamburg, Schalke lose in first leg

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> Hamburg and Schalke were beaten in their first-leg matches in the UEFA Cup's round of 16 on Thursday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Hamburg and Schalke were beaten in their first-leg matches in the UEFA Cup's round of 16 on Thursday, denting the last German hopes remaining in European cup competition. Ten-man Hamburg was upset by host Rapid Bucharest 2-0 - five days after it became the first Bundesliga team to beat league leader Bayern Munich in 11 games at its new stadium. Schalke, which is fourth in the Bundesliga, lost at Palermo 1-0. Also Thursday, Lille beat Sevilla 1-0 and Steaua Bucharest held Real Betis to a 0-0 draw. Marseille, AS Roma lose FC Basel beat Strasbourg 2-0, Marseille lost 1-0 to Zenit St. Petersburg, and Middlesbrough beat AS Roma 1-0. Udinese drew 0-0 with Levski Sofia. The second legs are scheduled for March 15-16. Both Rapid and Hamburg finished the match with 10 men. Hamburg had Nigel de Jong sent off in the 68th minute for a second yellow card, and Rapid's Vasile Maftei was ejected in injury time for a tackle on Mario Fillinger. Daniel Niculae put Rapid ahead in the 45th minute with a 35-meter shot that caught Hamburg goalkeeper Stefan Waechter by surprise. With two minutes to go, Niculae sped past several Hamburg defenders on the right side and passed to Mugurel Buga, who completed the scoring. It was a good night for Bucharest-based teams, with Steaua holding Betis to a 0-0 draw. Steaua dominated, but Betis' defense gave the Romanians little room to maneuver. Betis threatened on counterattacks and came close to scoring in the 69th when Fernando Varela's shot from 14 meters was denied by Steaua goalkeeper Carlos Fernandez. Franco Brienza helped Palermo beat Schalke with a 15th-minute goal, settling a ball while unmarked near the net and converting from close range. Relegation for Schalke Schalke was relegated to the UEFA Cup following its elimination from the Champions League. Geoffrey Dernis scored Lille's winning goal in the 24th minute. The midfielder scored directly from a corner, with Sevilla goalkeeper Antonio Notario misjudging the flight of the ball. Middlesbrough beat Italian side Roma with a 12th-minute penalty from Aiyegbeni Yakubu. Middlesbrough earned the penalty when Roma goalkeeper Gianluca Curci brought down Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Zenit St. Petersburg defeated Marseille thanks to midfielder Andrei Arshavin, who collected the ball and beat goalkeeper Fabien Barthez with a curling shot in the 50th minute. Marseille was reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when midfielder Franck Ribery was sent off for a second yellow card. Matias Delgado scored one goal and set up another to lead FC Basel over Strasbourg 2-0. After Delgado converted a free kick in the eighth minute, Zdravko Kuzmanovic deflected Delgado's kick in the 89th minute for the finale. (AP)

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