Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green Whites advance

The Green-Whites advance through the UEFA Cup continued as they withstood attack-savvy Udinese in a 3-3 draw to win 6-4 in aggregate. This sets up an all-Germany semi-final against Hamburg but equally a particular combination of the two northern rivals meeting four times in three weeks.

After taking a strong 3-1 at home was expecting an all-out onslaught by the Serie A squad and only fifteen minutes in that was clear as Gökhan Inler opened the scoring for Udinese driving the ball from twenty-five metres just over Tim Wiese's outstretched hands. Werder brought the match level on the half-hour as Diego took advantage of Cristián Zapata defending error to steal the ball and move into the box before turning and firing the ball past Udinese 'keeper Samir Handanovič. That scoreline didn't last long as within ten minutes Italian international Fabio Quagliarella latched onto a perfect through pass by Giovanni Pasquale down the left channel before chipping the ball in. Taking control of the match Quagliarella made it 3-1, erasing Werders aggregate lead seven minutes before the break as he chested down Gökhan İnler smooth chip before turning and volleying the ball into the net from the edge of the area. After withstanding pressure by the hosts Werder took the lead just before the hour mark as Hugo Almeida effort hit the cross bar and was headed just over the line by Diego. Leading the aggregate by one, Diego had a chance to seal it away from the spot with seventeen minutes left but Diego's effort was denied by Samir Handanovič. However a minute later the Green-Whites brought the match level as Claudio Pizzaro flicked the ball in from close range via a corner. Udinese continued to press for another goal but failed as the match ended in a 3-3 draw.