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Ecstasy for Egaleo in Turkey

Thursday, 30 September 2004

By Türker Tozar at 19 Mayis stadium

[1] Egaleo FC's dream UEFA Cup debut continued, as they followed up a 1-0 home-leg win with a draw at Gençlerbirligi SK that takes the Greek side into the inaugural group stage.

Away goal decisive

[2] Turkey's Gençlerbirligi eliminated Blackburn Rovers FC, Sporting Clube de Portugal and Parma FC in reaching the fourth round last season before losing to eventual winners Valencia CF, but their visitors claimed a crucial away goal through Georgios Barkoglou, and the home side were unable to score the three they needed to turn the tie - Egaleo's maiden outing in the UEFA Cup.

Early efforts

[3] Gençlerbirligi were the more composed side early on, and dominated midfield throughout the first 45 minutes. Mustafa Özkan went close with a 25-metre shot but soon after, against the run of play, Dimosthenis Manousakis had a close-range effort saved by Ömer Çatkiç.

Youla chance

[4] On 13 minutes Souleymane Youla got behind the visiting defence after picking up the ball near the halfway line, but could not force a goal. Josip Skoko then looked for Özkan in front of goal, only for Georgios Alexopoulos to intercept the pass.

Egaleo ahead

[5] Late in the half Youla sent the ball wide as he followed up a powerful Filip Daems shot, and with three minutes remaining in the first half Gençlerbirligi were made to pay, as Barkoglou headed in Georgios Fotakis's corner to silence the home crowd.

Visitors hold on

[6] The home side were given hope nine minutes into the second period, as Egaleo striker Günter Friesenbichler headed the ball into his own net after the ball was crossed in from the right. This was the cue for Gençlerbirligi coach Erdogan Arica to inject fresh attacking options into his side, sending on Ali Öztürk and Sammy Gtari in the final 20 minutes, having already introduced Elvir Bolic at the interval. But Egaleo defended stoutly and held onto their overall advantage to enter Tuesday's draw.

Gençlerbirligi's Sedat Yesilkaya (left) tussles with Dimosthenis Manousakis of Egaleo