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Freak bounce gives Twente point at Fulham

Fulham FC 1-1 FC Twente
Andrew Johnson's opener was cancelled out by an unfortunate deflection off Mark Schwarzer in a lively Group K opener.

Freak bounce gives Twente point at Fulham
Freak bounce gives Twente point at Fulham ©UEFA.com

A freak deflection off Mark Schwarzer cost Fulham FC victory in their UEFA Europa League Group K opener against FC Twente.

The 2010 finalists seemed on course when Andrew Johnson gave them an early lead. However, a ricochet off Schwarzer following Luuk de Jong's header on 41 minutes ensured Twente a useful point, though Fulham's unbeaten European record at Craven Cottage remains.

Twente began with De Jong at centre forward and regular right-back Roberto Rosales pushed into wide attack in Marc Janko's absence as they continue to regroup after Bryan Ruiz's departure for Fulham. And the visitors began in a lively manner as they aimed to win in England for the first time.

It was Fulham, including debutant Zdeněk Grygera, who had the first good chance though, Clint Dempsey forcing Nikolay Mihaylov into a diving save. Mihaylov was beaten on 19 minutes when Johnson pounced on a back pass from Dwight Tiendalli, made space in the box and produced a lofted side-foot finish off the far post.

At the other end, Schwarzer had to get down well to deny De Jong and the goalkeeper also saved from Willem Janssen. It was still a surprise, though, when a Rosales cross was inadvertently flicked by Steve Sidwell to De Jong, whose header bounced in off the inside of a post and the luckless Schwarzer.

Dempsey nearly restored Fulham's lead on 53 minutes, turning Pajtim Kasami's cross wide and Mihaylov bravely blocked from Johnson at close range. It was not constant Fulham pressure but when they attacked they were dangerous, Dempsey again testing Mihaylov.

Gradually, though, Twente began to see more of the ball and not even Bobby Zamora's introduction could edge the game back in Fulham's favour. The home side even needed the impressive Matthew Briggs to block from Tim Cornelisse, before Rosales curled wide in added time.


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