Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fenerbahce Eliminated from UEFA Champions League


Fenerbahce tied Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday 2-2, which eliminated the Yellow Canaries from the UEFA Champions League on a 5-3 aggregate. Fener received goals from Stephen Appiah and Kerim Zengin, while Shatskikh scored both of Kiev's goals. The draw eliminated Fener from Champions League and now moves them to the UEFA Cup, where they will begin as a seeded team. Fener should learn of their opponent during the UEFA Cup Draw on Friday.

The team's biggest weakness, the defense, failed again on Wednesday. With Diego Lugano ineligible and Fabio Luciano injured, the Canaries looked for help from Umit Ozat, Onder Turaci, Can Arat, and Kerim Zengin. However, the defensive back four were often out of position and appeared lost much of the time. The offense also sputtered despite a rocket goal from Stephen Appiah to tie the match.

With 52,000 screaming Fenerbahce fans in attendance, an undeniable home pitch advantage was expected but much like the first leg, Kiev struck first with a goal only five minutes in. Appiah's goal tied the game, but Shatskikh scored again for Kiev five minutes later to put them ahead 2-1. The second goal made the aggregate difference an uphill battle and seemed to take the life out of Fenerbahce.

With another disappointment in Champions League, Fener must now put the game behind them and look toward their upcoming match with Sakaryaspor on Sunday. Diego Lugano is expected to make his Fenerbahce debut in the game.

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