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  Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 20:38 GMT 21:38 UK
Bridges rescues Leeds
Michael Bridges is congratulated by Alan Smith (right) after Leeds' goal
Bridges' hard work set up Smith (right) for the winner
Leeds 1-0 Metalurg Zaporizhzhya
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Michael Bridges came off the Leeds bench to end his injury nightmare by setting up Alan Smith for the winner against Metalurg Zaporizhzhya in the first round, first leg of the Uefa Cup.

Bridges, 24, has been out injured since October 2000 but came on in the second half to help end the stubborn resistance of Ukrainian minnows Zaporizhzhya.

The Leeds striker chased a long ball forward and wrestled possession before pulling a pass back to Smith, who made no mistake from close range.

Eirik Bakke, of Leeds, and Zaporizhzhya's Oleg Raty battle for possession
Eirik Bakke and Oleg Raty battle for possession

The goal came after 80 minutes against a side who Leeds were expected to easily beat.

But it proved not to be the case as Zaporizhzhya played with a defensive formation and just one striker.

The closest Leeds came to scoring in the opening 20 minutes was a Lee Bowyer 35-yard shot that curled narrowly high and a Jonathan Woodgate header that looped onto the roof of the net.

Eirik Bakke should have given the home crowd the goal they were trying to urge their team towards when he found himself unmarked from an Ian Harte free-kick, but the Norwegian headed wide.


Michael has been frustrated because he wanted to get back into the team, but this was a big moment for him
Leeds manager Terry Venables

Lively Zaporizhzhya midfielder Fabio Vasconcelos' long range shot was comfortably saved by keeper Paul Robinson as the visitors adopted a shoot-on-sight policy.

Zaporizhzhya seemed to gain in confidence the longer the game stayed goalless while an incoherent Leeds side's best chances were coming from corners in the first half.

Lucas Radebe headed wide just after Smith had poked a shot straight at Zaporizhzhya's grateful keeper Andriy Glushchenko.

An Olivier Dacourt yellow card for a scything foul on Vasconcelos highlighted Leeds' frustration as they went into the interval goalless against their less-than-illustrious opponents.

Eirik Bakke, of Leeds, and Zaporizhzhya's Oleg Raty battle for possession
Eirik Bakke and Oleg Raty battle for possession

Leeds stepped up the pace after the break and it looked like Smith's header had given them the lead.

But Zaporizhzhya keeper Glushchenko pulled off an excellent save to deny the England striker before immediately stopping another header from Harte.

Leeds boss Terry Venables brought on striker Bridges after 65 minutes to the delight of the Elland Road crowd.

The home side continued to attack against the heavy numbers of Zaporizhzhya's red and black shirts and Kewell had a header saved while Smith shot high.

Smith did his best to force the issue for Leeds with his aggressive style of play and his determination finally paid off 10 minutes from time.

Bridges was the provider and Smith gratefully accepted his pass to slot in from close range.

Leeds created chances late on but could not find a late second goal and now face a tricky return leg.


Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Radebe, Woodgate, Harte, Bakke, Dacourt, Bowyer, Kewell, Smith, Viduka. Subs: Martyn, Bridges, McPhail, Mills, Okon, Burns, McMaster.

Metalurg Zaporizhzhya: Glushchenko, Valuta, Raty, Klyuchyk, Visevic, Dodic, Vasconcelos, Milosavijevic, Smirnov, Akopyan, Modebadze. Subs: Zolna, Hansen, Zayats, Brdanin, Rodri, Lapko, Savinov.

Referee: M Vuorela (Finland)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Dave Woods
"Leeds were constantly frustrated"
Leeds boss Terry Venables
"We shold have scored more"

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