No joy in Eindhoven for Qantas Socceroo pair
There was no joy for Socceroos Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka in Eindhoven overnight, following Sevilla’s thrashing of Middlesbrough 4-0 in the UEFA Cup final.
There was no joy for Socceroos Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka in Eindhoven overnight, following Sevilla-s thrashing of Middlesbrough 4-0 in the UEFA Cup final.
In a fairly one-sided final, Middlesbrough was outplayed for the majority in the final, although the score only blue out late in the game, as Middlesbrough pushed players forward.
Schwarzer, who wore a protective mask on his face, was the busier of the two keepers throughout the game, while Viduka had the two best, of the very few opportunities for Boro.
Luis Fabiano gave the Spanish side a 26th minute header and then added three goals, including a double by Italian Enzo Maresca in the final 12 minutes, to blow the game wide open and demoralise their English opponents.
Schwarzer was continually called upon, especially in the second half to make a lot of saves, as Sevilla-s Brazilian connection of Adriano and Fabiano constantly had Middlesbrough-s defence twisting and turning.
Sevilla had the early running through Adriano, Fabiano and Argentine Saviola all dangerous and they duly went ahead when Fabiano climbed to perfectly place a header in off the post past a stranded Schwarzer.
The score remained 1-0 at the break and Steve McLaren, who was in charge for the last time as Boro manager before taking over as England boss after the World Cup, sent on Massimo Maccarone to liven up the attack.
Viduka soon after the break had Boro-s best chance of the match when he latched onto a header by Chris Riggott-s and although he hit his shot sweetly from six-yards out, Andres Palop spread himself brilliantly to block the shot away.
Boro then had a few half chances and McLaren threw on Yakubu in all-out attack.
Viduka with 20 minutes remaining had another chance when Hasselbaink laid a nice ball in front of the World Cup-bound striker, but his first time effort from 20 yards, whistled past the post. He was also bundled over in the box, copping a knock to the head, but the penalty appeals waved away, although replays showed Viduka had a case.
Middlesbrough-s brief spell on top though was cruelly halted, when Maresca slotted home after Schwarzer could only parry Freddy Kanoute's shot. Six minutes later Maresca added a third with a left foot shot from the edge of the box that squeezed past an unsighted Schwarzer.
Kanoute pounced at the death to add a fourth after Schwarzer could again only parry another shot from the Sevilla attack.
After the match, Viduka lamented his missed opportunity that may have kept Boro in the game.
"If I'd put that chance away it could have been a different story at 1-1,” Viduka said. "I thought we could go all the way tonight, the way we played in the last two games, but today it just wasn't meant to be.”