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  Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 22:06 GMT
Valencia salvage draw
Amedeo Carboni's curls his free-kick over the Ajax wall
Valencia are still unbeaten in 20 Champions League home games
Valencia needed an injury-time strike from Miguel Angel Angulo to secure a draw at home to Ajax.

After being on the defensive for almost the entire game, Ajax took the lead two minutes from time as substitute striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole into the box to convert a pass from Rafael van der Vaart.

That left Valencia heading for defeat in a game they had dominated throughout before Angulo popped up in the third minute of time added on to spare their blushes.

An Ajax win would have been an unlikely result, given the supremacy enjoyed by the home side right from the off.

Valencia scored 17 goals in the opening phase of the competition to progress as group winners and they seemed certain to add to their European tally for the season as early as the third minute.

Vicente's cross fell invitingly to John Carew, who was unmarked and no more than five metres from goal but still managed to blast the ball high over the bar.

Carew found his range later in the game but an outstanding display from Ajax keeper Joey Didulica kept him at bay.

Twice the Norwegian striker saw point-blank headers turned away by Didulica when it seemed impossible for the keeper to find time to react.

As Valencia increased the pressure in the second half, Didulica followed up another save from Carew by turning a Ruben Baraja corner round the post.

Valencia's Santiago Canizares kept up the high standard of keeping, managing to stop goalbound efforts from Jari Litmanen and Mido on two of the rare occasions that Ajax went forward with intent.

Canizares was beaten in the 88th minute, though, as Zlatan punished the home side for some slack cover, taking a neat through ball from van der Vaart and rounding the keeper.

Valencia surged forward and were rewarded as Angulo finally found a way past Didulica after latching on to a loose ball in the area and firing in.

As time dragged on, agonisingly for Ajax, Valencia came close to claiming a winner their more adventurous football probably deserved but Roberto Ayala's effort was just over the bar as he attempted to convert an Angulo corner.


Valencia: Canizares, Pellegrino, Ayala, Carboni (Aurelio 74), Curro Torres, Albelda (de los Santos 85), Baraja, Vicente, Angulo, Carew, Mista (Sanchez 67).
Subs Not Used: Palop, Marchena, Djukic, Garrido.

Booked: Albelda.

Ajax: Didulica, Trabelsi, Bergdolmo, Chivu, Maxwell, Galasek, Pienaar (De Jong 71), Van der Vaart, Litmanen (Ibrahimovic 60), Van der Meyde, Mido (Boukhari 85).
Subs Not Used: Stekelenburg, Witschge, Yakubu, Wamberto.

Booked: Chivu, Mido, De Jong, Galasek.

Attendance: 48,000.

Referee: Giles Veissiere (France).


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