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Birkirkara bow out

Published: Friday 30 August 2002, 0.52CET
Birkirkara FC 0-0 FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya (Agg: 0-3) No way through for Maltese.
Published: Friday 30 August 2002, 0.52CET

Birkirkara bow out

Birkirkara FC 0-0 FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya (Agg: 0-3) No way through for Maltese.

Birkirkara FC 0-0 FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya (Zaporizhzhya win 3-0 on aggregate)
Despite a gallant performance in the second leg of their qualifying round tonight in Malta, Birkirkara FC went out of the UEFA Cup at the hands of FC Metalurh Zaporizhzhya. For all the Maltese side's efforts, there was no getting over the 3-0 first-leg defeat a fortnight ago in Ukraine.

'A good attacking game'
The 0-0 scoreline belied an entertaining game of football. Zaporizhzhya coach Oleg Tavan said: "It was a good attacking game from both sides. My side adopted a positive approach and could have even scored a goal."

Pride in the performance
His Birkirkara counterpart, Stephen Azzopardi, took pride in his players' efforts. "I am very satisfied with the overall team performance on the night," he said. "The players gave all they had. Unfortunately the first ever victory in a UEFA club competition did not materialise but all in all I am satisfied with the draw."

Galea goes close
Birkirkara held the upper hand for much of the match, but failed to trouble seriously Andriy Gluschencko in the visitors' goal. Michael Galea went close to scoring the early goal Birkirkara needed, his effort from a George Mallia cross just clearing Gluschenko's crossbar. Mallia himself went close after 30 minutes after a scramble in the Zaporizhzhya box, but eventually the ball was cleared.

Haber debut
Fourteen minutes into the second half, Gluschenko failed to keep hold of Matthew Calascione's shot but the goalkeeper recovered well to save from Jaroslav Marx's effort on the rebound. At the other end, Birkirkara's new signing Justin Haber started in goal in place of Rueben Debono and he made two important saves to ensure a clean sheet.

Last updated: 30/08/02 2.37CET

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