Record breaking comeback for Newcastle

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Craig Bellamy fired Bobby Robson's Newcastle into the last 16 of the Champions League as a 3-2 victory at Feyenoord completed a record-breaking comeback. After

Record breaking comeback for Newcastle

London:

Craig Bellamy fired Bobby Robson's Newcastle into the last 16 of the Champions League as a 3-2 victory at Feyenoord completed a record-breaking comeback. After losing their first three group games, the Magpies appeared to be going out early. But Robson's team then beat Juventus, Dynamo Kiev and Feyenoord to capture second place in Group E along with the Italians, who ousted Dynamo with a 2-1 victory in Ukraine. No other team had come back from three defeats down, but 69-year-old Robson, who has had club successes with FC Barcelona, FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven and Ipswich, watched his team score three times on the final day of qualifying in Rotterdam, with two strikes by a barely fit Bellamy. Newcastle, Deportivo de La Coruna and Lokomotiv Moscow captured the last three places in the final 16 of the Champions League while Dynamo, Feyenoord, Galatasaray, Lens and FC Brugge went out. Depor hit back from a goal down to win 2-1 at AC Milan and that put the Spanish club out of range of French club Lens in Group G. Milan had already qualified and Lens tied 3-3 at last place Bayern Munich. Barcelona wound up the only one of the 32 first round teams to have a perfect record of six wins by beating Galatasaray 3-1. In the same group, Lokomotiv scored a 2-0 victory over Brugge to jump from last and take second spot, leaving the Belgians with the consolation of a place in the third round of the UEFA Cup. The draws for both competitions are on Friday in Geneva. The three final qualifiers joined three Spanish clubs, defending and nine-time champion Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, Italy's Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and AS Roma, England's Manchester United and Arsenal, Germany's Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund, the Netherlands' Ajax Amsterdam and Switzerland's FC Basel in the second round. The eight group winners - Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Arsenal, Manchester United, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus - are seeded in Friday's round so that they can't meet each other in the next phase. Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the goals as Manchester United made sure of top spot in Group F. Israel's Maccabi Haifa squandered leads of 2-0 and 3-1 and tied 3-3 with Olympiakos but still gained a place in the UEFA Cup. The most dramatic action was in Group E. Maksim Shatskikh appeared to have put Dynamo on the way to the last 16 when he put his team ahead after 50 minutes against Italian champion Juventus. Despite leaving big names at home, Juve hit back with strikes by Chilean forward Marcelo Salas (53rd minute) and Marcelo Zalayeta (60th) to win 2-1. In Rotterdam, Bellamy (45th minute) and young Portuguese talent Hugo Viana (49th) put Newcastle ahead, only for Mariano Bombarda (65th) and Anthony Lurling (71st) to make it 2-2. At that stage, Dynamo was going through and Newcastle was on its way out, but Bellamy stretched to turn in a deflected shot in injury time and Robson's team had made it. While Manchester United was completing the double over Leverkusen to finish six points clear of the Germans in Group F, there was a six-goal thriller in Athens. Walid Badir and Yacubu Ayegbini put Maccabi 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes, Alekos Alexandris replied for Olympiakos and then Yaniv Katan made it 3-1 four minutes before half time. Beaten 3-0 by Maccabi six weeks ago, Olympiakos hit back with second half goals by Andreas Niniadis and Paraskevas Antzas to salvage a tie. After Danish striker Jon Dahl Tomasson had given AC Milan a first half lead, Deportivo de La Coruna hit back through Diego Tristan (58th minute) and Dutch striker Roy Makaay (71st) to snatch three points and a place in the last 16. Already out of the competition, four-time winner Bayern Munich raced into a 2-0 lead against French club Lens through Niko Kovac and Hasan Salihamidzic. But a Thorsten Fink 20th minute own goal gave Lens a glimmer of hope and Dagui Bakari made it 2-2 in the 54th. Markus Feulner restored Bayern's lead in the 86th before Jocelyn Blanchard gave Lens the satisfaction of a tie. Bayern finished last in its group. In Group H, goals by Dani (10th minute), Gerard Lopez (44th) and Geovanni (56th) ensured Barcelona's perfect Champions League run continued and ended Galatasaray's hopes of a place in the last 16 despite an equalizer by Cihan Haspolatli. With the field covered with snow, Lokomotiv mastered the difficult condition and jumped into second with goals by Brazilian forward Julio Cesar (44th minute) and Dmitry Loskov (90th). Basel is the surprise qualifier, having come from 3-1 down in the qualifying round against Scottish titlist Glasgow Celtic and then racing into a 3-0 lead inside the first 30 minutes against Liverpool on Tuesday before hanging on for a 3-3 tie. That result meant that four-time winner Liverpool, the current Premier League leader, failed to qualify for the second phase. Italian league leader Inter Milan finished top of its group by winning 2-1 at Ajax which edged French champion Lyon on head-to-head results after they finished level on points. Serie A champion two seasons ago, Roma secured a place in the last 16 with a 1-1 tie at home to AEK Athens. Despite remaining undefeated, the Greeks were eliminated, having tied all six games. (AP)

Topics : Football
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