Hamburg 3 – Aston Villa 1 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) Hamburg moved ahead against Aston Villa when Reinhardt released a long ball out of defence through to Mladen Petric, who took a touch and volleyed left-footed into the far corner. And Martin Jol’s team doubled there advantage through Ivica Olic’s diving header. After the break it was three for the Germans, Olic saw off Carlos Cuellar’s weak challenge before lashing home past Guzan. Nathan Delfouneso continued his personal triumph in the UEFA Cup bagging a consolation, while Steve Sidwell was sent off for two bookable offences. (All three Hamburg goals can be seen here.)
Portsmouth 3 – Heerenveen 0 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Pompey went in front when Crouch headed home a Marc Wilson cross. Crouch added a second less than two minutes later when he tapped in after a mesmerising run from Kanu. Hermann Hreidarsson completed the scoring when he headed in from a Glen Little cross in the last minute.
AC Milan 2 – Wolfsburg 2 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) Massimo Ambrosini crashed home Clarence Seedorf’s corner to give Milan the lead. Wolfsburg drew level in the 55th minute, a team move saw the ball moved from right to left before Cristian Zaccardo fired in the equaliser. But the Rossoneri immediately went up the other end and regain their lead as Pato toe-poked Milan back in front. But ten minutes from time Wolfsburg equalised for the second time when Mahir Saglik diverted a shot past Dida.
St. Etienne 2 – Valencia 2 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) With the snow falling and having to use a red ball, Ilan raced clear on the Valencia goal to finish coolly. Fernando Morientes pulled the visitors level turning home Joaquin’s cross but St. Etienne restored their lead on the stroke of halftime when Ilan bagged his second of the game after a shocking fumble from keeper Guaita. Twenty minutes from time the Spaniards levelled through Nikola Zigic.
Feyenoord 0 – Lech Poznan 1 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) Ivan Djurdjevic headed Lech Poznan into the lead at Feyenoord.
Deportivo La Coruna 1 – Nancy 0 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) Rodolfo Bodipo scored the winner in the 73rd minute.
Ajax 2 – Slavia Prague 2 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) Jan Vertonghen fired the hosts in front after just four minutes, powerfully heading home a Miralem Suljemani corner. Slavia levelled inside 10 minutes as Jarsolav Cerny converted Krajcik’s cross from the right. The visitors then completed the turnaround four minutes before the interval as Krajcik teed-up Marek Jarolim. Ajax equalised late on, Luis Suarez coolly slotted home a last minute penalty to earn a share of the spoils.
Club Brugge 0 – FC Copenhagen 1 (UEFA Cup, December 17, 2008) FC Copenhagen beat and eliminated Club Brugge from reaching knock-out stages, Cesar Santin fired Copenhagen ahead just before the hour mark. Nabil Dirar twice came within inches of equalising but a combined of great goalkeeping and the woodwork denied him a goal.
Roma 2 – Bologna 0 (Coppa Italia, December 17, 2008) Roma won the match in the final ten minutes, Mirko Vucinic swept home David Pizarro’s through-ball, and a calamitous mistake from Marcello Castellini gifted Vucinic the ball clean through on goal and the striker scored after leaving keeper Antonioli on his backside.
Amadora 2 – Porto 4 (Superliga, December 17, 2008) Lisandro Lopez opened for the visitors in the with Cristian Rodriguez also scoring for Porto on the stroke ofÂ halftime. Amadora rallied to draw level, Vitor Moreno and Luis Vidigal equalising for the hosts. But Porto walked away with all three points with two superb late strikes, first Hulk curled a left-footed beauty into the top corner and then Rodriguez fired home a perfect free-kick into the same spot. Porto move up to second.
Pachuca 0 – LDU de Quito 2 (Club World Cup, December 17, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) The Copa Libertadores champions LDU raced into a fourth minute lead with Claudio Bieler slotting home after slack Pachuca defending was punished. The Mexicans fell further behind midway through the first half as Leon curled in a right-footed free-kick. (First half highlights here, second half highlights here.)
Tigre 1 – San Lorenzo 2 (Apertura playoff, December 17, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) San Lorenzo scored twice in two minutes midway through the first half, Barrientos opened from close range getting on the end of Solari’s cross, and Barrientes then turned provider teeing up Bergessio for the second. Tigre’s Leandro Lazzaro pulled one back in the 76th minute, heading in a high cross from Rusculleda. But the match ended on a sour note as Tigre’s keeper Daniel Islas shoved his hand in the face of San Lorenzo’s Barrientos, and after a melee broke out holding up play for several minutes the custodian saw red, much to the anger of the home crowd who starting throwing missiles.
Vietnam 0 – Singapore 0 (East Asian Championship, December 17, 2008) (First half highlights here, second half highlights here.) Singapore survived an onslaught to hang on for a draw in the first leg of the semi-final.
Oman 3 – China 1 (4 Nations Cup, December 17, 2008) All the goals arrived in the second half Basheer’s opener for Oman was cancelled out by Bo, before Saleh’s brace sealed the win.
Iran 0 – Ecuador 1 (4 Nations Cup, December 17, 2008) Fidel Martinez scored the winner early in the second half.