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Blank keeps Aachen alive

Published: Friday 3 December 2004, 0.04CET
TSV Alemannia Aachen 2-2 FC Zenit St. Peterburg Stefan Blank's last-minute penalty earns a vital draw.

Match statistics

AachenZenit

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target2
 
2
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red Cards1
 
0

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Friday 3 December 2004, 0.04CET

Blank keeps Aachen alive

TSV Alemannia Aachen 2-2 FC Zenit St. Peterburg Stefan Blank's last-minute penalty earns a vital draw.

By Mark Bennett

A last-minute penalty from Stefan Blank earned TSV Alemannia Aachen a 2-2 draw against FC Zenit St. Peterburg in Cologne and ensured that the German side retained their hopes of progressing from UEFA Cup Group H while denying the Russian visitors the opportunity to seal their place in the last 32.

On the spot
With less than 60 seconds remaining, Blank coolly converted from the spot after Chris Iwelumo had been brought down in the area to give the German side a point. Earlier Erik Meijer had given the home side the lead, but strikes from Vladislav Radimov and Olexandr Gorshkov either side of the break had turned the match in the visitors' favour.

Attacking strategy
Knowing that a win could have taken them into the next round, Aachen coach Dieter Hecking stuck to his attacking 4-3-3 lineup, whereas the visitors - who also would have progressed with a victory - took to the field in a slightly more defensive 4-4-2 formation.

Early chances
Aachen started the match well and pushed hard for an early goal, but Blank, Meijer and Sergio Pinto all saw their efforts either go wide or be turned away in the opening five minutes of the match. After that Zenit slowly came to grips with the game and managed to keep Aachen at bay. Nonetheless it took the Russian side 23 minutes to create their first real chance, Daniel Chirita's header sailing wide.

Meijer on the mark
Only two minutes later Aachen took the lead. Meijer cleverly slipped into space in the heart of the Zenit defence, chested down a Pinto cross, and fired a shot beyond goalkeeper Viacheslav Malafeev. However, despite being the better side, Aachen gifted the visitors an equaliser seven minutes before half-time. Moses Sichone brought Aleksandr Kerzhakov down in the penalty area and Radimov calmly converted the resulting spot-kick.

Late goals
The home team continued to push hard a second goal, but it was Zenit who struck next, the visitors scoring with their first chance after the break as Gorshkov rose to meet a Radimov cross and headed into the net. The home team refused to give up and were rewarded for their spirit with Blank's equalising penalty, leaving their hopes of progress in their own hands.

Pinto off
It was not all good news for Aachen though, as they had Pinto sent off for two bookable offences in stoppage time and the forward will now miss the crucial trip to AEK Athens FC on Matchday 5, a game Aachen must win in order to qualify for the next round. Zenit have played all four group games and now face a nervous wait; the Russian outfit must hope AEK, who cannot qualify, take points off their German opponents.

Last updated: 03/12/04 9.46CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2004/matches/round=1976/match=79763/postmatch/report/index.html#blank+keeps+aachen+alive

Lineups

aachen

Aachen

zenit

Zenit

1
StraubStephan Straub (GK)
16
MalafeevVyacheslav Malafeev (GK)
3
KlitzperaAlexander Klitzpera
2
RadimovVladislav Radimov (C)
Goal37
5
BrinkmannDennis Brinkmann
Substitution79
3
ŠkrtelMartin Škrtel
7
PlasshenrichReiner Plasshenrich
Substitution66
5
VješticaMilan Vještica
8
RolfesSimon Rolfes
8
MarešPavel Mareš
11
MeijerErik Meijer (C)
Goal25
Substitution72
9
ŠírlRadek Šírl
Yellow Card35
Substitution84
12
SichoneMoses Sichone
Yellow Card37
10
ArshavinAndrey Arshavin
Substitution74
18
Sérgio PintoSérgio Pinto
Red/Yellow Card90+1
11
KerzhakovAleksandr Kerzhakov
21
FielCristian Fiel
25
ChiritaDaniel Chirita
22
MichalkeKai Michalke
27
DenisovIgor Denisov
Yellow Card45
Substitution46
33
BlankStefan Blank
Goal88
34
BystrovVladimir Bystrov

Substitutes

24
NichtKristian Nicht (GK)
1
ČontofalskýKamil Čontofalský (GK)
6
LandgrafWilfried Landgraf
Substitution66
15
HartigLukáš Hartig
Substitution74
9
GomezDaniel Gomez
Substitution79
28
FlachbartJan Flachbart
Substitution84
Yellow Card88
16
IwelumoChris Iwelumo
Substitution72
88
GorshkovOlexandr Gorshkov
Substitution46
Goal75
17
StehleThomas Stehle
7
MakarovDmitri Makarov
20
ScharpingJens Scharping
20
KatulskyAleksei Katulsky
27
NollEmil Noll
43
VlasovOleg Vlasov

Coach

Dieter Hecking (GER) Vlastimil Petržela (CZE)

Referee

Sorin Corpodean (ROU)

Assistant referees

Marcel Savaniu (ROU), Miklos Istvan Nagy (ROU)

Fourth official

Robert Dumitru (ROU)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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