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  Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Ipswich thrash Beggen
Tommy Miller nets his second and Ipswich's third goal
Hapless Beggen keeper Hartert looks back as Miller hits another goal
Ipswich 8-1 Beggen (Agg 9-1)

Ipswich shrugged off the likely loss of first-leg hero Marcus Stewart to blow Beggen away in a first-half goal rush.

Stewart, whose last-minute strike in Luxembourg put Ipswich in control of the qualifying round tie, was in Sunderland to hold talks over a possible move to the Stadium of Light.

But George Burley proved he could afford to lose the 1m-rated striker as he paired Spanish striker Pablo Counago with last season's top scorer Marcus Bent up front.

But it was Tommy Miller who made the breakthrough for Ipswich with less than three minutes on the clock.

  Goal count
1-0 Miller 3 mins
2-0 Counago 18 mins
3-0 Miller 19 mins
4-0 Counago 21 mins
5-0 Brown 42 mins
5-1 Molitor 56 mins
6-1 McGreal 61 mins
7-1 Counago 74 mins
8-1 Ambrose 79 mins

A defensive mistake was seized upon by Counago, whose deft touch set up the former Hartlepool midfielder and he slid in his first goal for the club from 10 yards ahead of Tino Miedico's challenge.

The early goal settled any nerves the First Division side may have encountered.

And Ipswich made it 2-0 on the night with a classy goal in the 18th minute.

Bent shimmied away from Mike Ney's tackle and fed Counago, who steadied himself and side-footed into the corner.

Only another two minutes had passed before any lingering Beggen resistence evaporated, as Counago and Miller each scored again.

First, ex-Celta Vigo forward Counago centred from the right for Miller, who allowed the ball to run across his body with his back to goal and flicked a back heel through his legs into the far corner.

Then Miller returned the compliment as a low cross from the left invited Counago to turn in the fourth goal.

Tommy Miller celebrates after opening the floodgates at Portman Road
Miller celebrates the opening of the floodgates
Ipswich's first-half dominance was completed four minutes before the break when Jim Magilton's cross provided Wayne Brown with the chance to head home his first goal for the club.

The avalanche of goals ensured the second half was a mere formality, though there were some thoughts of Ipswich matching their record winning margin of 10-0, against Floriana in a European Cup preliminary round 40 years ago.

Instead it was the visitors who scored next, Gregory Molitor on target 11 minutes into the second half with a goal warmly applauded by the buoyant home fans.

But normal service was quickly resumed as John McGreal turned home Ipswich's sixth on the hour, tucking the ball away after Fabien Wilnis's shot had been blocked by goalkeeper Hartert.

Counago completed his hat-trick on 73 minutes, striking low into the net from six yards out.

And substitute Darren Ambrose completed the rout when he turned home a cross from fellow sub Finidi George 11 minutes from time.


Ipswich: Marshall, Wilnis, McGreal, Brown, Clapham, Tommy Miller, Magilton, Holland, Reuser, Counago, Marcus Bent. Subs: Pullen, Ambrose, Darren Bent, George, Gaardsoe, Richards, Naylor.

Beggen: Hartert, Calvaruso, Laraccia, Ney, Miedico, Molitor, Lionel Da Silva, Gomes de Almeida, Martin, Da Luz, Pace. Subs: Gilbertz, Picard, Lopes, Hamdaoui, Tom Schaack, Diallo, Schmit.

Referee: T Skgerven

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
"Ipswich's surges forward were irresistible"
Ipswich boss George Burley
"I didn't expect to score eight goals"
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