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Tromsø triumph to stay in top flight

Published: Monday 24 October 2005, 4.20CET
Group E: Tromsø IL confirmed their place in the Tippeligaen with a narrow success as FK Crvena Zvezda and FC Basel 1893 both won comfortably. features

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Published: Monday 24 October 2005, 4.20CET

Tromsø triumph to stay in top flight

Group E: Tromsø IL confirmed their place in the Tippeligaen with a narrow success as FK Crvena Zvezda and FC Basel 1893 both won comfortably.
Three of the sides involved in UEFA Cup Group E recorded domestic victories at the weekend, with Tromsø IL's narrow success particularly significant. FK Crvena Zvezda and FC Basel 1893 both earned comfortable wins while AS Roma's local derby ended all square. RC Strasbourg were the only team without reason to feel satisfied with their weekend's work, as their miserable run in France continued.

FK Smederevo 1-3 FK Crvena Zvezda

Crvena Zvezda remained on top of the Serbo-Montenegrin Super Liga with a 3-1 win at Smederevo. Milan Purović was on target twice, while forward Nikola Žigić claimed a third goal for Walter Zenga's side. It was the second domestic win for Crvena Zvezda in a week after midfielder Dejan Miladinović's goal eliminated third division FK Takovo in the first round of the Serbo-Montenegrin Cup.

"We were at a high level," said Zenga. "I am satisfied because we were strong and lively throughout and I hope we can take this into the UEFA Cup." Crvena Zvezda are also likely to be boosted by the imminent return of midfielder Vladimir Mudrinić, who had been sidelined by a knee injury.

BSC Old Boys 1-6 FC Basel 1893

Basel rallied from Thursday's 2-0 home defeat by RC Strasbourg by claiming a resounding 6-1 triumph against local rivals Old Boys in the second round of the Swiss Cup. Midfielder Mile Sterjovski struck four of Basel's goals, while the other two came through Zdravko Kuzmanovic, a half-time substitute for Matías Delgado.

Pascal Zuberbühler, David Degen and Patrick Müller were rested, while Papa Malick Ba, Murat Yakin, César Carignano and Bruno Berner remain sidelined through injury. "It was important to show such a reaction after the tough loss against Strasbourg," said Basel's Argentinian midfielder Matías Delgado. "It was a great game for Mile Sterjovski."

Le Mans UC 72 2-0 RC Strasbourg

Strasbourg's poor form in Ligue 1 continued as they slumped to a sixth league defeat of the season. Jacky Duguépéroux's team are without a win in 12 matches in the French top flight, and fell behind at Le Mans to Yohan Hautcoeur's first-minute header on Saturday, visiting goalkeeper Stéphane Cassard dropping the ball over his line. Strasbourg's hopes were effectively ended by Daisuke Matsui's goal at the end of the opening period, and the visitors were unable to get back into the match in the second 45 minutes.

Coach Jacky Duguépéroux said: "I feel like a knocked-out boxer. I told the players to concentrate fully in the first 20 minutes and we conceded a goal almost immediately. It's alarming." Strasbourg were without defensive midfielder Sidi Yaya Keita (cruciate ligaments) and defender Karim Haggui (foot), while Alexander Farnerud sprained an ankle at Basel.

Tromsø IL 1-0 Viking FK

An own goal from Frode Hansen was enough for Tromsø to secure a place in next year's Tippeligaen as Steinar Nilsen's side won their fifth league game in a row, a club record in the Norwegian top flight. The game's only goal arrived in the 33rd minute as Lars Iver Strand crossed from the right and Viking defender Hansen gave Anthony Basso no chance as he attempted to clear. Tromsø's task was made considerably easier by the dismissal of Viking goalkeeper Basso on 53 minutes for a professional foul on Stephan Ademolu and the home team held on despite also finishing with ten men after Tamás Szekeres was sent off for a foul on Trygve Nygaard a minute from time.

Nilsen had virtually a a full-strength squad at his disposal, with Strand, Roar Christensen and Ole Martin Årst all recovering from knocks to play. The Tromsø coach - who took over from Otto Ulseth in August, although he is yet to agree a new contract with the club - was all smiles after the game, saying: "I am extremely relieved by the fact that our place is secure before the last game. We can let our hair down and enjoy that, the pressure has been immense lately. We will start discussions on a new contract now."

AS Roma 1-1 S.S. Lazio

Roma captain Francesco Totti gave his side the lead in the first half of the Derby della Capitale but Tommaso Rocchi equalised in the second half for the Biancocelesti. Rodrigo Taddei passed through for Totti to burst in from the left side of the penalty area and the Italian international lifted the ball over Lazio goalkeeper Marco Ballotta from a tight angle. Lazio, however, equalised 12 minutes into the second half when Rocchi headed in Cesar's left-wing cross. Roma rallied but failed to score again despite good opportunities for Christian Panucci and second-half substitute Shabani Nonda.

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti was without midfielder Alberto Aquilani and forward Antonio Cassano due to injuries and preferred Brazilian goalkeeper Doni to Italian Under-21 international Gianluca Curci. Vincenzo Montella played alone in attack with Totti, Mancini and Taddei supporting him in a 4-2-3-1 formation. "It was a balanced game," Spalletti said. "We did not play well for 15 minutes immediately after half-time, but I'm really satisfied with our performance in the rest of the game. We tried to win until the final whistle, it was the right approach and we just have to continue playing like we did tonight."

Last updated: 24/10/05 17.08CET

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