Sevilla wins UEFA Cup

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:40 IST

Sevilla won its first European trophy Wednesday, getting two goals from Enzo Maresca in a 4-0 win over Middlesbrough in the UEFA Cup final.

Sevilla wins UEFA Cup

Eindhoven:

Sevilla won its first European trophy Wednesday, getting two goals from Enzo Maresca in a 4-0 win over Middlesbrough in the UEFA Cup final. Brazil's Luis Fabiano headed in the first goal in the 27th minute, sending the ball in off the post after a cross from Daniel Alves. Maresca added a second in the 78th, beating Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to the ball after the Australian had saved Frederic Kanoute's shot. In the 84th, Maresca chested the ball down, and then smacked it hard into the ground and toward the net. Schwarzer dived but could not get to the ball in time. Kanoute made it 4-0 in the 89th, tapping in a rebound. ''It's been a perfect day. I think we deserve this. We have great supporters,'' Maresca said. Mark Viduka had the best chances to score for Middlesbrough, but his shot in the 52nd was saved by Sevilla 'keeper Andres Palop. He shot wide in the 75th. Middlesbrough, which twice faced elimination and a three-goal deficit in the quarterfinals and semifinals, couldn't claw back this time. ''It is really painful to lose,'' Middlesbrough midfielder George Boateng told Dutch television. ''We created plenty of chances but then we failed to utilize them. That was our biggest letdown. I think their first goal broke the ice because it was very difficult to come back.'' Schwarzer started the game with a face mask to protect a broken cheekbone. The 33-year-old Australian, who was chosen to play for his country at the World Cup earlier in the day, was making his first start since he was hurt in a collision with West Ham striker Dean Ashton on April 23 in a 1-0 loss in the English FA Cup semifinals. ''Games like this are always hard. There's always a lot of tension. But it's all been worth it to make Sevilla supporters happy,'' Juande Ramos said. Sevilla's first goal was the product of a talented team in total synch. While Argentina forward Saviola lured one defender away from the center, Luis Fabiano moved into the open space where he was served a perfect cross from right back Daniel. Luis Fabiano produced a header as powerful as it was delicate, flicking it off the right post for the opener. Middlesbrough attacked in the second half, playing with four forwards, and finally got beat in the 78th minute. Sevilla outmanned the Middlesbrough defense and Maresca set up the move which went to substitute Kanoute. The Mali striker shot and Schwarzer could only push it in the path of Maresca, who put the match away even before he added another goal with a shot from 18 meters (yards). That left Middlesbrough coach Steve McClaren without a farewell trophy before he becomes England coach after the World Cup. And his substitutions, which left his defense all too exposed in the second half, will be open for question. In the first half, Sevilla immediately took the game to Middlesbrough and exposed its weak right side time and again. Chris Riggott almost scored an own-goal in a panic in the eighth minute when he tried to clear a low cross from Jesus Navas. A minute later, Middlesbrough's right defense was again painfully bare, and Saviola came close to slipping in another cross. Middlesbrough's defensive worries were far from over. Luis Fabiano's goal exposed a huge hole at the center and Adriano, another Brazilian, walked through that same empty space in the 30th but his shot went over the bar. Middlesbrough defended like a Premier League also-ran, but its forwards were even worse. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was noteworthy for his complaints to the referee and Viduka's most dangerous action came in front of his own goal in the final moments of the first half when he miscued a clearance that whistled past his own goalmouth. Sevilla's heart of the defense, captain Javi Navarro and France's Julien Escude, reigned supreme. Middlesbrough though, had recovered from worse. Twice it was three goals down and recovered to reach the final and each time Massimo Maccarone scored the decider. So it was no surprise that McClaren put the Italian on in the second half, but bringing on a third striker at first exposed more holes in defense. Kanoute nearly scored with a header in the 48th minute and two minutes later Adriano curled a shot wide. Then came the moment which might have turned the match in the 52nd minute. Riggott headed to Viduka who was wide open 6 meters (yards) from the line, but he could not finish it off. Despite a terrifying blast, Palop threw himself at the ball and pulled off the save of the match. Eight minutes later, Maccarone sent in a cross which turned into a shot that Palop narrowly tipped over. Since that didn't work, McClaren brought on striker No. 4 in the 71st minute - Ayegbeni Yakuba. With four forwards, chances were bound to come but Viduka, through alone in the center, shot wide. Then Viduka appeared to be floored by Navarro in the penalty area but German referee Herbert Fandel waved play on. (AP)

Topics : Football Sevilla
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