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 Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 22:41 GMT
Liverpool win test of nerve
El-Hadji Diouf
Diouf was the Liverpool hero on the night
Liverpool 1-1 Ipswich (5-4 on penalties)

Liverpool kept their composure as they beat Ipswich in a penalty shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals of the Worthington Cup.

All the home side's goals came from the spot, with El-Hadji Diouf's second-half spot-kick cancelling out Tommy Miller's opener.

After extra time failed to separate the teams, it was Diouf who took centre stage again, stroking home the winning penalty after Jamie Clapham had missed for the visitors.

Salif Diao and Darren Ambrose
Diao and Ambrose battle for the ball
Earlier, Ipswich had become the second club in a week to profit from a mistake by the Liverpool backline.

And goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, who made a costly blunder against Manchester United on Sunday, could not be blamed this time.

It was Markus Babbel's error that led to Miller finding the net after just 15 minutes.

And the German defender paid for his mistake twice by being substituted at halftime.

Liverpool had recalled Abel Xavier for his first game since early September while Dudek was given the chance to make amends for his recent horror show.

There was also a full debut for Neil Mellor, who scored 46 in 44 reserve games last term.

And the 20-year-old striker had a great chance to break the deadlock after only five minutes but screwed his shot wide.

Key moments
14 mins: Miller opens the scoring
54 mins: Diouf equalises from the spot
Jamie Clapham's penalty hits the bar
Diouf hits the winning penalty
Ipswich should have netted three minutes later when an unmarked Pablo Counago planted a header wide of the target.

Counago came close to making amends for that miss after Miller had opened the scoring.

But the Spaniard was denied by a superb stop from Dudek with just the Pole to beat.

Ipswich seemed content to protect their lead after the break, defending with five men across the back.

But they held out for less than 10 minutes.

Mark Venus brought down Mellor and Diouf converted from the spot.

Gregory Vignal and Darren Bent
Vignal and Bent tussle for possession
Mellor then hit the post after a long run and chipped over the bar with another effort.

As extra-time loomed, Darren Bent's header hit the frame of the goal before Reds substitute Milan Baros missed from close range.

Liverpool had the better of the chances in added time, but it took penalties to decide the victors.


Liverpool: Dudek, Xavier, Biscan, Babbel, Vignal, Riise, Gerrard, Diao, Smicer, Diouf, Mellor. Subs: Baros, Arphexad, Carragher, Welsh, Otsemobor.

Ipswich: Marshall, Gaardsoe, Venus, Hreidarsson, Wright, Miller, Holland, Ambrose, Clapham, Darren Bent, Counago. Subs: Wilnis, Magilton, Armstrong, Naylor, Pullen.

Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Connor McNamara
"Dudek took the chance to exorcise some demons"
 Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"There was unity in the team"

Quarter-final draw

Wednesday's games

Tuesday's games
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


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