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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 21:36 GMT
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-0 Newcastle
By Richard Hookham

Christoph Spycher and Antoine Sibierski
Christoph Spycher (left) holds off Newcastle striker Antoine Sibierski
Newcastle sealed the one point they needed to finish top of Group H after holding on for a hard-fought Uefa Cup draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Magpies withstood a relentless onslaught and were grateful to keeper Shay Given for some superb saves.

Charles N'Zogbia, Belozoglu Emre and Antonie Sibierski had Newcastle's best chances in a fine rearguard display.

But Frankfurt paid the price for some woeful finishing as their slim hopes of qualification were virtually ended.

Magpies boss Glenn Roeder already knew his side had qualified for the knock-out stages.

606: DEBATE
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But finishing in pole position would see his side avoiding the Champions League teams who had failed to get through the group stages.

He therefore named the strongest side available to him - the same that started last week's 2-1 win over Celta Vigo - with Obafemi Martins - at 22, the most senior of his seven substitutes - left on the bench.

Frankfurt set off at a blistering pace, although it was Newcastle who had the first real opportunity.

After Albert Luque was bundled to the ground by Marko Rehmer, Emre curled in a free-kick which Charles N'Zogbia met unmarked at the far post.

But rather than go for goal, the Frenchman headed back across the penalty area and the German team cleared to safety.

After six minutes, Eintracht's Ioannis Amanatidis beat Titus Bramble in the air but the defender recovered well to block Naohiro Takahara's shot before Steven Taylor also denied Christoph Spycher from the rebound.

Belozoglu Emre and Markus Proell
Newcastle's Belozoglu Emre is denied by Frankfurt keeper Markus Proell

The home side should really have taken the lead in the 24th minute when Marcus Weissenberger's cross was met by Albert Streit, but Given blocked his header instinctively with his feet from point-blank range.

Newcastle were caught out again seconds later when Takahara's cross was met by Amanatidis, but his header flew over leaving Streit, far better placed behind him, screaming in frustration.

Amanatidis then blasted over from the edge of the penalty area on 31 minutes and Bramble was forced to make a vital challenge to keep out the same player seconds later.

At the other end Emre lashed a left-foot free-kick which flew just wide on the stroke of half-time after Spycher had been penalised for a foul on Luque.

Frankfurt came flying out of the traps again in the second half, with Amanatidis somehow failing to connect with another teasing cross from Takahara.

Martins replaced Luque on 59 minutes and immediately gave Newcastle hope when his cross was met by Sibierski's header, only to be blocked by Marko Rehmer.

Eintracht continued to try to breach the Magpies defence but the visitors held on.

It maintained their record of never having lost to German opposition in European football in five matches.


  • Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder:
    "At times, we had a little bit of good fortune, but after what has happened to us at times this year, no-one will deny me or the team the point.

    "It has been a magnificent effort by a squad that is severely ravaged by injuries to finish with 10 points with three wins and a draw.

    "It would have been nice to have won the game, but at the end of the day, 0-0 was good enough and we are satisfied with that."


    Eintracht Frankfurt: Proll, Vasovski, Kyrgiakos, Spycher, Rehmer (Ochs 64), Streit, Huggel, Weissenberger, Takahara, Amanatidis (Fink 78), Kohler.
    Subs Not Used: Nikolov, Cimen, Reinhard, Russ, Huber.

    Booked: Streit, Amanatidis, Huggel.

    Newcastle: Given, Ramage, Bramble, Taylor, Solano, Emre, Milner, Butt, N'Zogbia, Sibierski, Luque (Martins 59).
    Subs Not Used: Forster, Huntington, Pattison, Carroll, Edgar, Troisi.

    Booked: Solano, Taylor.

    Ref: Pedro Proenca (Portugal).

    Att: 47,000



    SEE ALSO
    Uefa Cup photos
    30 Nov 06 |  Football


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