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"The mission became evermore impossible"
 real 14k

banner Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 21:37 GMT 22:37 UK
Alaves demolish Kaiserslautern
Kaiserlautern's Andreas Buck fails to find a way through
Kaiserlautern's Andreas Buck fails to find a way through
Kaiserslautern 1-4 Alaves (Agg: 2-9)

Alaves took their first European campaign all the way to the Uefa Cup final when they thrashed Kaiserslautern again for a spectacular 9-2 aggregate victory.

Two goals from substitute Jurica Vucko and one each from Ivan Alonso and substitute Raul Ganan helped Alaves complete the demolition of the 1998 German champions.

Jorge Bermudez celebrates his goal
Bermudez celebrates after completing the scoring

The modest Spanish side will now play Liverpool in the final on 16 May in Dortmund.

French midfielder Youri Djorkaeff gave Kaiserslautern the start they needed by opening the scoring with a fierce drive from just inside the box after seven minutes.

Cheered on by 31,000 fans in their packed Betzenberg stadium, the home side kept pushing and came close to scoring in the 14th minute when a header from defender Jeff Strasser required a spectacular save from Alaves goalkeeper Martin Herrera.

But the visitors, in a comfortable position following their epic 5-1 win in the first leg, effectively killed the tie when Alonso equalised with a powerful angled header in the 23rd minute.

Vucko strikes

Kaiserslautern crumbled after that and suffered another blow when defender and captain Harry Koch had to be substituted with an injury before the break.

Alonso nearly hit a second five minutes into the second half when he punctuated a swift counter-attack with an eye-catching diving header which went narrowly wide.

Andreas Buck loses out to Martin Astudillo
Andreas Buck loses out to Martin Astudillo
The outfit from the Basque capital of Vitoria, who were playing fourth division football as recently as 1990, had another great chance in the 56th minute when an effort from 16 metres by defender Delfi Geli which Kaiserslautern goalkeeper Georg Koch managed to punch over the bar.

Kaiserslautern had lost all hope of reaching their first European final when Vucko advanced into the penalty area unchallenged to beat Koch in the 64th minute.

Vucko added another from a counter-attack in the 86th minute before Ganan emphasised the gulf in class between the two sides with the final goal two minutes from time.

Kaiserslautern made it relatively easy for us because they had no other option than taking risks and that left us plenty of space. But I don't think the difference between the two teams is quite as big as the score suggests
  Jose Manuel Esnal, Alaves coach.

Alaves were playing in a white and blue strip rather than their distinctive rose-coloured shirts with the names of all the club's season-ticket holders embroidered into the fabric.

The pink jerseys, specially designed for the Uefa Cup, could be back for the final.

Kaiserslautern: Georg Koch, Ramzy, Harry Koch, Hristov, Grammozis, Djorkaeff, Ratinho, Strasser, Buck, Lokvenc, Klose. Subs: Weidenfeller, Schjonberg, Komljenovic, Dominguez, Pettersson, Marschall, Adzic.

CD Alaves: Herrera, Ibon Begona, Eggen, Tomic, Desio, Astudillo, Magno, Ivan Alonso, Epitie, Tellez, Geli Roura. Subs: Burgos Carrasco, Raul Ganan, Azkoitia, Cruyff, Vucko, Gomez Ortiz Pablo, Sarriegui.

Referee: H Dallas (Scotland)

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