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Fairytale finish for Middlesbrough

Published: Thursday 27 April 2006, 22.47CET
Middlesbrough 4-2 Steaua Bucuresti (agg: 4-3)
Massimo Maccarone's late header completed a night of unbelievable drama at the Riverside stadium.
by Andrew Haslam
from Middlesbrough

Match statistics

MiddlesbroughSteaua

Goals scored4
 
2
Attempts on target5
 
4
Attempts off target8
 
2
Corners3
 
4
Offsides1
 
1
Fouls committed21
 
15
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 27 April 2006, 22.47CET

Fairytale finish for Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough 4-2 Steaua Bucuresti (agg: 4-3)
Massimo Maccarone's late header completed a night of unbelievable drama at the Riverside stadium.

For the second UEFA Cup tie in succession, Middlesbrough FC came from three goals down to progress, with substitute Massimo Maccarone heading an 89th-minute winner to crown a 4-2 victory against FC Steaua Bucuresti and send the English side into the final for the first time.

Rousing fightback
Holding a 1-0 advantage from last week's first leg, two goals in nine minutes, from Nicolae Dica and Dorin Goian, seemed to have cleared Steaua's route to the final in Eindhoven on 10 May. Maccarone brought Middlesbrough back into the tie before the interval, however, and second-half strikes from Mark Viduka and Chris Riggott set up a tense finale. And just as it looked like the visitors would hold on to become the first Romanian club to reach the UEFA Cup final, Maccarone dived to head in with seconds remaining to take the English side through in only their second season in European competition.

Steaua take charge
The early threat came from Steaua, with Dica heading over a left-wing corner as early as the second minute. Middlesbrough failed to heed the warning, and fell behind in the 16th minute as the visitors strung together a good passing move to allow Petre Marin to cut in from the left and left fly. Brad Jones could only parry his viciously dipping shot and Dica was on to the rebound in a flash to supply a clinical finish. Eight minutes later, the Romanian side looked to have all but booked their place in Eindhoven as another set-piece undid the home team, Goian meeting Gabriel Bostina's right-wing corner with a downward header and collecting the ensuing rebound to rifle in his side's second.

Maccarone response
Middlesbrough had overturned a three-goal deficit against FC Basel 1893 in the quarter-finals, however, and despite the loss of captain Gareth Southgate, they rallied swiftly. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink almost diverted in Fábio Rochemback's shot but Steaua's advantage was cut just past the half-hour. Viduka, back in the side after a recovering from a thigh problem, picked out Southgate's replacement Maccarone in space on the right and the Italian forward beat Carlos Alberto Fernandes with a low shot. The Steaua goalkeeper kept his side in front on the night with two crucial blocks from Viduka before half-time, first stopping the Australian's shot after Maccarone and Hasselbaink had sliced through the visiting defence and then stretching out a leg to turn away an acrobatic overhead volley.

Last-minute Maccarone
Pressure continued to mount on the visitors as the second half got under way, with Steve McClaren introducing a fourth striker ten minutes after the interval in the shape of Yakubu Ayegbeni. The Nigerian promptly forced Fernandes into a point-blank block before Hasselbaink turned Maccarone's low centre just past the post. Home hopes were revived as Viduka headed in Stewart Downing's left-wing cross in the 64th minute and when Fernandes could only parry the winger's low shot nine minutes later, Riggott slid in for Middlesbrough's third. It seemed that would not be enough, however, until Maccarone's late intervention sent the Riverside stadium into raptures.

Last updated: 28/04/06 11.03CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2005/matches/round=2213/match=84078/postmatch/report/index.html#fairytale+finish+middlesbrough

Lineups

middlesbrough

Middlesbrough

steaua

Steaua

22
JonesBrad Jones (GK)
13
Carlos                                            Carlos Fernandes (GK)
5
RiggottChris Riggott
Goal73
20
OgăraruGeorge Ogăraru
6
SouthgateGareth Southgate (C)
Substitution26
24
GhioneaSorin Ghionea
3
QueudrueFranck Queudrue
3
GoianDorin Goian
Goal24
21
ParnabyStuart Parnaby
18
MarinPetre Marin
10
RochembackFábio Rochemback
7
OpritaDaniel Oprita
Substitution81
7
BoatengGeorge Boateng
Yellow Card60
6
RădoiMirel Rădoi (C)
19
DowningStewart Downing
28
LovinFlorin Lovin
Yellow Card74
33
A. TaylorAndrew Taylor
Substitution55
11
BoştinăGabriel Boştină
Substitution86
9
HasselbainkJimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Yellow Card62
Substitution90
10
DicăNicolae Dică
Goal16
36
VidukaMark Viduka
Goal64
19
IacobVictoraş Iacob
Substitution65

Substitutes

32
KnightDavid Knight (GK)
12
CerneaCornel Cernea (GK)
26
BatesMatthew Bates
5
BalanDaniel Balan
Substitution65
Yellow Card74
4
EhioguUgo Ehiogu
Substitution90
9
SimionValentin Simion
39
CattermoleLee Cattermole
14
CristoceaVasilica Cristocea
15
ParlourRay Parlour
15
NeşuMihai Neşu
Substitution86
18
MaccaroneMassimo Maccarone
Substitution26
Goal33
Goal89
17
BaciuEugen Baciu
Substitution81
20
YakubuAyegbeni Yakubu
Substitution55
21
Andrei CristeaAndrei Cristea

Coach

Steve McClaren (ENG) Aurelian Cosmin Olaroiu (ROU)

Referee

Ľuboš Michel (SVK)

Assistant referees

Roman Slyško (SVK), Martin Balko (SVK)

Fourth official

Vladimir Hrinak (SVK)

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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