NEC Nijmegen are through to the UEFA Cup Round of 32 after two goals in the space of three second-half minutes was enough to beat Group D winners Udinese Calcio.
Half-time substitute Collins John and Jhon van Beukering were the men who found the net although visitors Udinese could have been in front by that point. Antonio Floro Flores missed a great chance for the Italian side on the hour mark, at a time when NEC's major rivals to progress from the section, FC Spartak Moskva, led 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur FC. However, after Tottenham levelled matters at White Hart Lane, NEC scored two goals of their own to ensure they qualified at the expense of Spartak.
NEC started strongly and Van Beukering had an early sight of goal, only to be foiled by a low save from goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi. Udinese needed only a point to ensure they topped the group and were content to hold on to possession, a tactic which served to frustrate a nervy-looking home side. The hosts' Rachid Bouaouzan played a neat one-two with Van Beukering before lifting over a lobbed shot, while Lasse Schöne passed up NEC's best opportunity of the half, failing to capitalise after Saidi Ntibazonkiza had played him in behind the visiting defence.
Home coach Mario Been sent on an extra striker at the break in the form of John but his side were leaving holes at the back and would have gone behind had Floro Flores not missed from close range when presented with an open net. Punishment for the miss followed when the hosts went in front, with John striking from the edge of the box. The Dutch side then bought themselves some breathing space when Van Beukering poked in following a corner. Udinese could not respond and NEC's progress was confirmed.
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