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Barcelona denied in late drama

Published: Thursday 25 September 2003, 0.31CET
ŠKM Púchov 1-1 FC Barcelona Milan Jambor's last-gasp goal shocks Barça.
Published: Thursday 25 September 2003, 0.31CET

Barcelona denied in late drama

ŠKM Púchov 1-1 FC Barcelona Milan Jambor's last-gasp goal shocks Barça.

An equaliser from Milan Jambor three minutes into added time earned ŠKM Púchov a 1-1 draw at home to FC Barcelona in the UEFA Cup first-round first leg.

Late shock
The Catalan side had largely been in control throughout the second half having taken the lead through Patrick Kluivert's 49th-minute strike, but were pegged back seconds before the final whistle as Mário Breška burst down the right and crossed low for Jambor to sidefoot into the net.

Unfamiliar setting
The game was played at the 19,000-capacity Anton Malatinský stadium in Trnava instead of the SK Matador Púchov ground because Púchov's normal stadium does not have floodlights. However, despite the unfamiliar surroundings, Púchov began brightly and won a succession of corners in the opening ten minutes, albeit without seriously threatening their opponents' goal.

Kluivert threat
Breška, a threat throughout, linked well with Miroslav Nemec on a number of occasions. However, the Spanish side gradually worked their way back into the match, with Kluivert causing problems for the home defence.

Important save
It was the Dutch international striker who had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes, as a ball over the top put him clear on goal. Kluivert seemed to have flicked the ball beyond Tomáš Bernady, but the Púchov goalkeeper, although diving to his right, managed to stick out a hand to divert the ball round his left-hand post.

Crucial tackle
Breška came closest to finding the target for the Slovakian side, sprinting clear of the Barcelona defence and bearing down on goal only to be denied by a saving tackle from Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Kluivert denied
Kluivert again went close to breaking the deadlock four minutes before half-time. Van Bronckhorst's well-struck free-kick deflected off Nemec in the defensive wall and fell into the path of the Dutch striker, but his effort was straight at Bernady.

Well-struck goal
However, the visitors did take the lead four minutes into the second period. A long ball forward was helped on by Ronaldinho into Kluivert's path, and the striker found the corner of the net with a well-struck effort from just outside the penalty area.

Ronaldinho goes close
Ronaldinho then twice came close to doubling the lead, first brilliantly lifting the ball over Igor Holcík in front of goal before being crowded out by defenders and then seeing his side-footed effort from close range hit Bernady's legs.

Late chances
The visitors might have increased their lead, as Luis Enrique skipped past two tackles and into the penalty area but shot just over the crossbar, before Kluivert was denied again by Bernady from a low Overmars cross. In a frantic climax, Breška and Ronaldinho both went close, before Barcelona were made to pay for their profligacy at the last.

Mixed response
Púchov coach Stefan Zatko said: "I think we deserved a draw. It is a beautiful feeling after a nice football evening played in a wonderful atmosphere. We did not allow Barça too much space in the first half, but lost concentration after the goal." His Barcelona counterpart, Frank Rijkaard, said: "We lost too many balls and the players were nervous and not clever enough to beat a good defence. It was better after the break, but a defensive blunder led to a draw. It is bad result, we would not even have been satisified with a 1-0 win."

Last updated: 25/09/03 12.19CET