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Thursday, 20 April, 2000, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
Leeds fall short of glory
Leeds 2-2 Galatasaray
Leeds' troubled Uefa Cup semi-final has ended in defeat to Turkish side Galatasaray, despite a spirited draw at Elland Road.
The home side twice came from behind thanks to two headed goals by Eirik Bakke in either half to end Leeds' run of six consecutive defeats.
But they were left with an near-impossible task after Gheorghe Hagi put the visitors ahead with a penalty in the fifth minute, then Hakan Sukur effectively ended the tie with a brilliant solo effort.
Controversy centred around the harsh sending off of both Leeds' Harry Kewell and Galatasaray's Emre Belozoglu within two minutes of each other just before the interval.
And Hakan Sukur was felled by an object which appeared to have been thrown by the crowd. The missile was handed to the fourth official and the incident could result in further action by Uefa.
To a thunderously loud torrent of boos and whistles from the crowd, Galatasaray kept out an early assault spearheaded by Kewell.
Almost immediately the Turkish side exposed Leeds' frailty on the counter-attack and Arif Erdem shot just inches above the right post.
A minute later a quality through-ball from Bulent Korkmaz split the defence and gave Hakan Sukur a one-on-one with keeper Nigel Martyn.
Jonathan Woodgate's scything, last-ditch tackle was nowhere near the ball, earning Galatasaray a penalty and the Leeds defender a yellow card after just five minutes.
Romanian international Hagi made no mistake from the spot, beating Martyn with a low shot to the right that gave the home team the mountainous task of scoring at least four goals.
Leeds' response came 10 minutes later as a period of pressure was rewarded with a corner after a brilliant reflex save by Claudio Taffarel.
Jason Wilcox's curling kick found Bakke unmarked at the near post and his glancing header soared into the top right corner.
Leeds grabbed their lifeline with both hands and raided into the opposition half, but as tempers frayed the number of clashes rose and Ian Harte was carded for a rash tackle.
Bakke was denied twice just before the half-hour as another header from a corner produced an awesome save off the line by Taffarel.
Then a classy chip through from Danny Mills found the big Norwegian in the area, where his goal-bound shot was deflected by the keeper's flailing knee.
The match settled to a simmer until the 42nd minute, when a loose pass from Kewell on the edge of the Turkish area sent it boiling over again as Galatasaray produced another lightning breakout.
The ball was deftly delivered to Hakan Sukur wide on the left, who beat Mills then Woodgate as he took the ball across the face of the goal and sent it rocketing past Martyn just inside the right post.
The match had barely restarted when Kewell was red-carded. It appeared that referee Lubos Michel thought the Australian had stamped on a Turkish defender as he fell to the floor.
However, replays showed that the Leeds striker appeared to be making an effort to avoid the player on the ground.
Barely 90 seconds had elapsed before Michel's red card was being brandished again, this time at Emre for an equal innocuous-looking challenge on Bowyer.
The player was shoved from the pitch by his furious manager.
Half-time arrived with no further incident, but it was noteworthy that the fans' boos were loudest for the departing officials rather than the Galatasaray players.
In fact, such was the hostility that the Slovakian official reportedly called police to his changing room during the interval and asked for extra protection following the final whistle.
With Leeds once again needing four goals to steal the tie, the second half dissolved into a series of inconclusive skirmishes and the vociferous Leeds crowd fell almost entirely silent.
The match reignited on 66 minutes when a miscued clearance from Bulent would have found the back of the Galatasaray net but for another stirring save from Taffarel.
It was to no avail as Bakke rose above the crowd to head home Leeds' second from the resultant corner, with the Brazilian keeper nowhere in sight.
Wilcox squandered a chance to take the lead on 78 minutes when a brilliant ball across the area from Lee Bowyer found him in space, but he hurried the shot and it was saved.
It was the last genuine chance for a Leeds side that looked physically and emotionally drained by the time the final whistle came.
Galatasaray, by contrast, were ecstatic to become the first Turkish side ever to make it to a European final.
Leeds: Martyn, Mills, Radebe, Woodgate, Harte, Bowyer, Bakke,
McPhail, Wilcox, Bridges, Kewell.
Galatasaray: Taffarel, Capone, Popescu, Bulent, Hagi, Okan,
K. Suat, Emre, Penbe, Erdem, Sukur.
Referee: Lubos Michel (Slovakia)
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Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.
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