Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green Whites advance in the UEFA Cup

Following the 4-0 demolition of Stuttgart, the Green Whites continued their resurgence with a 2-2 draw to Saint-Étienne, enough to see them through to the next round.

After winning 1-0 at Weser-Stadion in disappointing fashion, Werder was facing a tough task against a motivated French side. However Thomas Schaaf's starting eleven came out determined at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, and took the lead only six minutes into the match off of Sebastian Prödl goal. The much maligned Austrian international displayed his noteworthy aerial ability as he rose high to nod in Torsten Frings corner. Werder continued to press the pedal down and three minutes before the half hour Mesut Özil swung the ball from the left wing to Claudio Pizarro and the Peruvian striker headed it in to make it 2-0. While Werder missed a number of quality chances, slowly the host French side found composure and four minutes past the hour Cédric Varrault's far-post cross was headed in by Yohan Benalouane after sloppy Werder defending to make it 2-1. With time ticking away in the second minute of added-time les Verts star Dimitri Payet played Sébastien Grax in to make it 2-2 but Werder was able to hold further chances away and advance winning the aggregate 3-2.