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Fulham hold their own - The Times

last updated Wednesday 14th August 2002, 9:45 AM
Tigana treated to fantasy football -

Bologna (0) 2 Fulham (0) 2
ON THE ground where David Platt’s volley earned England a famous World Cup win over Belgium, Fulham last night produced another moment of late English drama by scoring an 87th-minute equaliser that put them on the verge of their first senior European campaign. Sylvain Legwinski’s goal gave them a deserved draw in this InterToto Cup final, first leg, against a team that finished seventh in Serie A last season, to leave them one match away from becoming the fifth English team in this season’s Uefa Cup.

  Fulham Boss Jean Tigana  
  Fulham Boss Jean Tigana’s side have improved steadily as this tournament has progressed and last night they passed what the coach called their first real European test
Jean Tigana’s side have improved steadily as this tournament has progressed and last night they passed what the coach called their first real European test, when they faced a passionate crowd and a team that he felt tried to provoke his players. Twice Fulham fell behind to penalties by Giuseppe Signori, only to restore parity, and they should complete the comeback a week on Tuesday.

Tigana may be tempted to start with Junichi Inamoto in the return match after the Japan midfield player marked his third successive substitute appearance by scoring a memorable individual goal. After dispossessing Renato Olive on 62 minutes, he rounded Giulio Falcone before curling a shot into the far corner of the net. “It was a fantasy goal,” Tigana, who had introduced him just two minutes earlier, said.

Not even the glorious climate, cuisine and culture of Bologna could persuade Fulham fans to abandon their Eurosceptic approach to the InterToto Cup, barely a hundred of them watching the match, but their Italian counterparts gave it a vote of confidence. Thousands had arrived an hour before kick-off and the stadium was three-quarters full by the start, when firecrackers, flares and drums created an atmosphere that is unlikely to be matched at Loftus Road.

Yet although Giuseppe Colucci blazed high when well placed and a mix-up between Edwin van der Sar and Rufus Brevett almost let in Carlo Nervo to score, Fulham held their own in a goalless first half and it was a surprise when Bologna took a 51st-minute lead. The otherwise excellent Sean Davis tripped Nervo in the penalty area and Signori, a World Cup runner-up for Italy in 1994, converted the spot kick.

Inamoto brought Fulham level, only for Signori to score an identical penalty after Andre Cruz had been pulled back by Abdeslam Ouaddou. The Stadio Renato Dall’Ara erupted, but Legwinski’s firm drive from a left-wing chip by Steve Marlet had muted Italian voices by the end.

BOLOGNA (3-5-2): G Pagliuca — C Zaccardo, G Falcone, M Castellini — C Nervo (sub: E Brioschi, 83min), R Goretti (sub: T Locatelli, 67), R Olive, G Colucci, V Smit — A Cruz, G Signori (sub: C Bellucci, 85). Substitutes not used: F Coppola, A Gamberini, L Ardito, M Meghani. Booked: Colucci, Goretti, Nervo.

FULHAM (4-4-2): E van der Sar — A Ouaddou, A Melville, A Goma, R Brevett — S Legwinski, S Davis, S Malbranque (sub: J Inamoto, 60), L Boa Morte — B Hayles (sub: L Saha, 60), S Marlet. Substitutes not used: M Taylor, J Collins, Z Knight, D Leacock, F Sava. Booked: Legwinski, Boa Morte, Ouaddou.

Referee: I Gonzales Eduardo (Spain).
Source The Time by Bill Edgar
Since 1998
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