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Fulham1-2 Boro: Cottagers robbed

last updated Saturday 18th August 2007, 10:10 PM
Brian McBride scored Fulham's only goal
Brian McBride scored Fulham's only goal
before being taken to hospital with
a serious knee injury

Fulham 1 Middlesbrough 2

Mido celebrated his Middlesbrough debut by helping the Teessiders to their first win of the season - a 2-1 success at Fulham - with an equaliser that will cause Tony Warner plenty of sleepless nights.

Fulham's Hameur Bouazza commiserates with the injured Brian McBride, although both would later go off.The Egyptian striker, who completed his £6million move from Tottenham in midweek, hit a weak shot which blundering Fulham keeper Warner deflected into his own net.

An ankle injury later accounted for Mido, who produced plenty of commitment, although he looked unfit and was puffing heavily on occasions.

He led the attack, with boss Gareth Southgate opting to omit Ayegbeni Yakubu from the squad altogether amid reports the Nigerian is on the brink of joining Everton for £10million.

ELee Cattermole completed Boro's comeback with an 88th-minute winner, although Fulham striker David Healy was denied an injury-time equaliser when the officials failed to spot his ball had crossed the line.

Boro's defence went missing for Fulham's opener, scored by Brian McBride who suffered a dislocated left kneecap and suspected fracture while scoring.

McBride lashed home in the 16th minute but twisted awkwardly in the process and the American striker had to be stretchered off the pitch after receiving lengthy treatment.

The incident was watched by Jimmy Bullard in the stands and brought back memories of the Fulham midfielder enduring a similar injury at the same time last year, ending his season.

To compound Fulham's woes, winger Hameur Bouazza was taken to hospital in the same ambulance as McBride after suffering a dislocated right shoulder.

Bouazza was involved as Boro were carved open with a minute on the clock, delivering an outswinging cross that Mark Schwarzer punched clear a heartbeat before Alexei Smertin could connect with his header.

Healy's follow-up shot was deflected off target by Smertin and Fulham maintained their bright start with a series of menacing corners.

An injury to referee Lee Mason held up play with fourth official Andy D'Urso taking over.

Match Stats Fulham Boro
Goals 1 2
Possession 54% 46%
Goal attempts 13 10
On Target 6 6
Corners 8 7
Off-sides 2 6
Saves 2 5
Fouls 9 12
Yellows 1 3
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet

Boro threatened when Cattermole worked his way to the right post, but neither Stewart Downing nor Mido could reach his cutback.

A slick move saw Fulham take the lead in the 16th minute, with Steven Davis finding Smertin, who raced to the goalline and sent the ball across the six-yard box.

Healy was prevented from shooting by David Wheater's challenge, but the ball continued on its path to McBride and the unmarked American striker had time to pick his spot and score - before crumpling and being carried off.

Boro should have equalised in the 31st minute when Tuncay Sanli dashed through midfield and released the onrushing Downing, but his effort sailed wide with just Warner to beat.

Bouazza looked in considerable pain as he left the pitch clutching his right elbow and the Algerian had to be replaced by Clint Dempsey.

A neat interchange between Julio Arca and Mido opened up Fulham's defence, but the Egyptian marksman did not have the pace to make the most of the chance.

Dempsey saw a promising effort plucked from the air by Schwarzer and then Healy was denied by the Australian keeper, who unwittingly blocked the shot from close range.

Right-back Chris Baird came to Fulham's rescue in first-half injury-time by intercepting the ball in the nick of time with Downing ready to pounce.

The second half was 10 minutes old when Mido produced the equaliser - with help from Warner.

The keeper performed heroics in the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal last weekend, but he gifted Boro a goal that will give him nightmares for years to come.

Arca found Mido and the new signing fired a weak shot that seemed destined to bounce harmlessly into the arms of Warner, only for the keeper to deflect the ball into his own net.

Substitute Diomansy Kamara, who had replaced McBride, had the ball in the net in the 60th minute, but D'Urso had spotted an elbow by Dempsey on Andrew Davies and disallowed the goal.

Jeremie Aliadiere thought he had put Boro ahead, but once again D'Urso intervened, ruling the Frenchman had pulled Paul Konchesky back as they raced to the ball.

Mido twisted on his ankle as he chased the ball and lasted two more minutes before being replaced by Lee Dong-Gook.

Fulham should have retaken the lead, but Dempsey somehow missed a near-open goal, directing his shot wide after being teed up by Healy.

Boro succeeded where their opponents had failed, Aliadiere slipping a deadly pass to Cattermole, who picked his spot for the winning goal.

Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez blasted the officials for failing to give David Healy's late equaliser as the Cottagers slipped to an action-packed 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.

Healy appeared to have rescued a point when Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer failed to hold his injury-time strike with replays showing the ball had clearly crossed the line.

But referee Andy D'Urso and linesman Ian Gosling refused to award the effort, leaving Sanchez furious that their blunder had cost his side a point.

He said: 'Everybody in the stadium saw as soon as it happened that the ball was over the line.

'It's a big decision that the linesman has to get right. He had a clear view of it.

'If referees and linesmen don't want technology to take the big decisions out of their hands then they have to make those big calls.

'Look at the reaction of the Boro players - their body language told them it was a goal.

'Plus five Fulham players jumped in the air when it went in. I told the referee a major error had been made between himself and the linesman.

'I can't understand how they didn't see it. I don't like technology, referees should be making the decision. But they have to be right.

'It's been a bad day at the office. It started going wrong when Brian scored.

'He dislocated his kneecap and will be out for longer rather than shorter - months, though not the season.

'Hameur then dislocated his shoulder and we lost our momentum. We gave them Mido's equaliser.

'Clint Dempsey misses an open goal and then we equalise late on but it's not given.'

Boro boss Gareth Southgate hailed new signing Mido who equalised in the 55th minute when his weak shot was deflected into the goal by Fulham keeper Tony Warner.

The £6million signing from Tottenham gave a committed display until he was substituted soon after scoring with Lee Cattermole firing the late winner.

Southgate said: 'As soon as Mido went into the dressing room I could see the influence he was going to have at the club.

'He has presence, is a character and has confidence. He'll get hold of people and we need that. I felt that if he started the match he'd give the whole team a lift.

'He's not played any pre-season games so scientifically he shouldn't have been out there.

'But he wanted the challenge and that tells you the sort of character he is. He gave us confidence and was up for the fight.

'As his fitness gets better and we get used to what he's about, he'll give us more and more.

'We didn't know how long he'd last but he gave much more than we hoped for.'

He continued: 'After we scored we looked more likely to win. We grew in belief.

'We had the rub of the green but you have to work hard as a collective to get that.

'It's a first away win too - we waited until January last year for that last season.

'It wasn't pretty today but sometimes you have to scrap for things in this league.'

Southgate refused to be drawn on Ayegbeni Yakubu's omission from today's squad amid speculation the Nigerian striker is set to join Everton for £10million.

He said: 'We've not had any offers for Yakubu. I just decided that the squad that travelled was the one I wanted for this game.

'I've no idea if Yakubu will be sold in the next few days.'

Fulham Warner, Baird, Knight, Bocanegra, Konchesky, Davies,Smertin, Davis (Diop 90), Bouazza (Dempsey 35),McBride (Kamara 20), Healy.
Subs Not Used: Ricardo Batista, Volz.

Booked: Kamara (78,d)

Goals: Brian McBride 16
(right-footed into bottom-right of goal from centre of penalty area. Assist, a cross, from Alexey Smertin on the right wing.)

Middlesbrough Schwarzer, Davies, Wheater, Riggott, Taylor,Cattermole, Boateng, Arca, Sanli (Aliadiere 46), Downing,Mido (Lee 69), Lee (Hines 90).
Subs Not Used: Jones, Johnson.

Booked: Boateng, Aliadiere, Schwarzer.

Goals: Mido 55, Cattermole 88.

Att: 20,948

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).
Andy D'Urso took over after 10 mins as Lee Mason injured himself

Source soccernet
Since 1998
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