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Udinese see off Sporting

Published: Wednesday 24 August 2005, 0.59CET
Udinese 3-2 Sporting Clube de Portugal (agg: 4-2) Vincenzo Iaquinta sets the Italian side on course for a hard-fought aggregate victory.
Published: Wednesday 24 August 2005, 0.59CET

Udinese see off Sporting

Udinese 3-2 Sporting Clube de Portugal (agg: 4-2) Vincenzo Iaquinta sets the Italian side on course for a hard-fought aggregate victory.

First-half strikes from Vincenzo Iaquinta and Antonio Di Natale set Udinese Calcio on course for a hard-fought 4-2 aggregate victory over Sporting Clube de Portugal.

First-leg lead
Already leading 1-0 after the first leg, the goals looked to have sealed the Italian side's place in the group stage. Roudolphe Douala reduced the deficit before the interval but despite earnest pressure, Sporting could not add another until added time through Mauricio Pinilla - a minute after Paulo Barreto had scored a third for Udinese.

Di Natale denied
The tie was effectively sealed in the first half as the home team began the match firmly on the front foot. Sulley Ali Muntari sent a left-footed effort just wide of the far post in the opening minutes and Di Natale was unfortunate to see another shot come back off the woodwork, albeit from an offside position.

Penalty déjà-vu
A goal seemed inevitable and it came in familiar fashion for Sporting, when Ricardo brought down Iaquinta inside the area on 23 minutes and the Norwegian referee Terje Auge pointed to the spot. The Italian striker, whose penalty was all that separated the teams a fortnight ago, picked himself up and fired in.

Goalkeeping error
Ricardo could do nothing about that, and was again powerless 12 minutes later when Cesare Natali headed in Muntari's cross. Udinese were cruising by this stage, but Douala provided the visitors with a faint glimmer of hope two minutes before half-time when he rifled a shot beyond the reach of Morgan De Sanctis.

Sporting substitutions
Sporting coach José Peseiro brought on Deivid de Souza and Edson at the start of the second half and the latter needed just three minutes to make an impact with a blistering strike. That spurred the visitors on and Rogerio forced De Sanctis into a good save.

Late goals
It proved Sporting's last real chance of salvaging their Champions League hopes and Barreto diverted Iaquinta's cross into the net to make it 3-1 in added time before Pinilla responded with a last-gasp consolation.

Last updated: 24/08/05 12.05CET

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