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Thursday, September 30, 1999 Published at 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK


Sport: Football

Huckerby seals it for Leeds

Lee Bowyer and Partizan's Obradovic at Elland Road

Leeds 1-0 Partizan Belgrade (agg 4-1)

Leeds United's passage to the Uefa Cup second round draw was ensured by a single second half goal from Darren Huckerby.


Ron Jones reports from Elland Road
The Yorkshiremen missed a number of chances, but were never in danger after their 3-1 victory on neutral territory in the first leg.

Huckerby scored the second goal of his Leeds career on 55 minutes, sprinting clear and going round the goalkeeper.

It meant Leeds manager David O'Leary could celebrate a year in charge with a taste of European glory.

And while this was not a top-class European occasion, it was a job well done, building on the result in neutral Heerenveen a fortnight ago.


[ image: Michael Bridges leaps as Leeds press in the first half]
Michael Bridges leaps as Leeds press in the first half
O'Leary had warned before the game that the Yugoslav champions were easily capable of punishing his side given their technical ability.

But the visitors showed little menace and could not grab the early goal they needed to unsettled their Yorkshire hosts.

Goalkeeper Nigel Martyn did not have a save to make, while Leeds should have buried the many opportunities which came their way.

Nikola Damjanac, the goalkeeper whose error gavce Leeds their third goal on Dtuch soil, came close to handing Leeds another present in only the third minute.

David Hopkin's shot was spilled, although the defence cleared the danger.

An unmarked Bowyer sidefooted a six-yard shot over the bar in the 20th minute, and Hopkin missed from a similar distance on the half hour.

Kewell misses but makes goal

Even worse was Harry Kewell's miss eight minutes later, after Bowyer played him in despite having a one-on-one situation with Damjanac himself.

The Australian international had the entire goal to aim at, but his sidefoot shot was directed at the body of the sprawling keeper.

Kewell at least partly made amends with a through-ball for Huckerby after the break.

The 4.5m buy from Coventry crowned his European debut by rounding Damjanac and sliding the ball home from the sharpest of angles.

It was no more than United deserved in front of a 40,000 sell-out crowd, attracted by reduced prices rather than a night of great European tension.

Leeds were comfortable after the goal and Partizan knew they were beaten, probably before Huckerby's goal bestled in the net.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Radebe, Harte, Hopkin, Batty, Bowyer, Kewell, Bridges, Huckerby. Subs: Haaland, Robinson, Smith, Mills, Bakke, Jones, Hay.

Partizan Belgrade: Damjanac, Savic, Sabo, Gerasimovski, Stanojevic, Trobok, Ivic, Tomic, Obradovic, Pekovic, Stojisavljevic. Subs: Baljak, Vukovic, Arnaut, Duljaj, Ilic, Stojakovic, Miskovic

Referee: Fritz Stuchlik (Austria)





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