PFC CSKA Moskva's bid to become the first Russian team to lift a major European club trophy remains on course but they must get past Parma FC as the UEFA Cup semi-final lineup was decided last night with final hosts Sporting Clube de Portugal earning a tie against AZ Alkmaar.
CSKA had a 4-0 lead going into the second leg of their last-eight encounter with AJ Auxerre, and although the French side won the match 2-0, their hopes of achieving an unprecedented comeback were always slim. Parma, who held visitors FK Austria Wien 0-0 to go through on the away goals rule in a 1-1 aggregate draw, have met CSKA in this competition before. The Italian outfit progressed in the first round of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup with a 1-1 stalemate in Moscow and 3-2 home victory - Adrian Mutu striking a last-gasp winner. This time Parma will be at home first, on 28 April, with the return a week later.
Meanwhile, Sporting's dreams of playing the final at their Estádio José Alvalade remain intact after three second-half goals gave them a 4-1 home success against Newcastle United FC, who had won the first leg 1-0 and scored first in Lisbon. Sporting now have a first competitive tie with Alkmaar, who defeated the last remaining UEFA Intertoto Cup winners, Villarreal CF, 3-2 overall after each team scored one goal in the Netherlands. It is the first time since 1990/91 that no Spanish side has reached the last four of the major UEFA club competitions.
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