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Rushfeldt ensures Austria advance

Thursday, 16 December 2004

[1] Sigurd Rushfeldt booked FK Austria Wien's place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup with a dramatic late winner against FC Utrecht at the Galgenwaard stadium.

Win needed

[2] With Club Brugge KV drawing against Real Zaragoza in the evening's other Group C match, Austria had to win to progress at the Belgian side's expense, and they did just enough thanks to Rushfeldt's 78th-minute goal. Libor Sionko's early strike had got Austria off to an ideal strike, but Darl Douglas hit back nine minutes into the second half to set up a tense finale for the visiting side.

Austria threaten

[3] Austria began brightly and their early pressure was rewarded on 14 minutes when Sionko benefited from a slip by left-back Edson Braafheid to fire his side ahead. Austria were in control but without creating many clear chances, and the home supporters had to wait until the 40th minute for their team's first real sight of goal.

Douglas strike

[4] Utrecht were looking for their first point in the section and they started the second half with more intent, Samir El Gaaouri replacing Prince Rajcomar at the break as they went into the second half with four strikers on the pitch.

Utrecht pressure

[5] The change paid off as Utrecht began to mount pressure on the Austria defence after the restart. Austria did well to hold their lead initially, but on 54 minutes Douglas made the most of a lapse in concentration in the visitors' defence to bring his side level.

Rushfeldt winner

[6] Utrecht pressed for a winner, but it was Austria that struck next. With Brugge drawing, Austria were on the way out until they created a chance from a corner 12 minutes from time, Rushfeldt getting the better of Alje Schut to score the all-important winner.

Austria's Rabiu Afolabi (left) vies with Prince Rajcomar