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Sávio sparks Zaragoza celebrations

Thursday, 16 December 2004

[1] Real Zaragoza secured qualification for the last 32 of the UEFA Cup with a draw against a ten-man Club Brugge KV side who tumbled out of the competition.

Looping header

[2] A looping first-half header from Brazilian forward Sávio Bortolini proved enough to put the Spanish side through, and despite Nastja Ceh's second-half equaliser, Brugge were eliminated as FK Austria Wien won 2-1 at FC Utrecht to claim the third qualification place from Group C.

Balaban out

[3] Brugge coach Trond Sollied knew his side would have to match Austria's performance in the Netherlands to progress, but his pre-match plans suffered a setback when Croatian striker Boško Balaban was ruled out with a knee injury he sustained in last weekend's Belgian First Division meeting with RSC Anderlecht.

Butina save

[4] This gave Brugge a lightweight appearance in attack, and from the kick-off the visitors looked the more likely scorers. Zaragoza had their first real chance in the eighth minute as David Villa broke quickly, cut inside Olivier De Cock and fired a superb shot from the edge of the area which goalkeeper Tomislav Butina did well to palm clear.

Villa wide

[5] Just four minutes later, Villa again went close to breaking the deadlock. Alberto Zapater's delightful through-pass found the forward in space, but his shot flashed across Butina and went just wide of the Brugge goal.

Zaragoza goal

[6] Brugge were having no joy in their long-ball approach to Rune Lange and as the half wore on, it seemed only a matter of time before Zaragoza would take the lead. That duly happened in the 39th minute when Sávio's well-directed header from Villa's deep right-wing cross looped over Butina and into the net.

Brugge substitution

[7] Sollied brought on Kevin Roelandts for the start of the second half with the left winger giving Brugge a more attacking look to their play. Still Zaragoza looked the more dangerous of the two teams, with Cani wasting a good opportunity to double their lead on the hour mark.

Ceh equaliser

[8] However, the Belgian side were starting to win more possession in midfield and midway through the second half they equalised with their best move of the match. Slovenian midfield player Ceh slid the ball under Zaragoza goalkeeper Luis García after Lange's precise pass had expertly picked him out in the area.

Spilár dismissed

[9] With Austria regaining the lead in Utrecht after briefly being pegged back, Brugge's hopes were further hit when Slovakian defender Marek Spilár was sent off for a second bookable offence. His dismissal, along with the home side's need to chase the game, left gaps at the back of both defences.

Lange wasteful

[10] The superb Villa should have done better when shooting straight at Butina after making space for himself, while at the other end Lange's control let him down when he found himself onside with just the goalkeeper to beat. Brugge were ultimately forced to resort to pumping long balls into the box, but despite all their efforts, Austria's win ended the Belgian side's UEFA Cup hopes.

Timmy Simons (left) tries to win the ball from the grounded Óscar González