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  Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 20:32 GMT 21:32 UK
Fulham sneak past Split
Steve Marlet scores Fulham's first goal in the 2-2 draw with hadjuk Split
Steve Marlet scored and won a penalty
Fulham 2-2 Hajduk Split
(Fulham win 3-2 on aggregate)

Fulham's European adventure remained on track after Jean Tigana's side narrowly edged past Hajduk Split to reach the second round of the Uefa Cup.

Having beaten the Croatians 1-0 in Split a fortnight ago, Fulham twice had to come from behind in the second leg as Zoran Vulic's side went for broke.

First-half goals from Vlatko Djolonga and Hrvoje Vejic gave Split cause for optimism, but Steve Marlet and a Steed Malbranque penalty, hauled Fulham into the second round draw.

Malbranque was the game's outstanding player, prompting countless Fulham attacks, continually probing Split's defence.

  Key incidents
6 mins: Vlatko Djolonga's deflected free-kick gives Hadjuk Split the lead
20 mins: Cool finishing from Steve Marlet levels for Fulham
41 mins: Hrvoje Vejic heads home from a Split corner
44 mins: Steed Malbranque's twice-taken penalty pulls Fulham level again

Not that Fulham's defence emerged from the game with a great deal of distinction with Rufus Brevett given a torrid time by the impressive Dario Srna and Andy Melville looking a trifle ponderous.

It was Brevett's foul on Srna just outside the box that led to Split's opening goal.

Djolonga's free-kick took a huge deflection off Sean Davis leaving Edwin van der Sar stranded as the ball looped into the net.

Djolonga's set pieces were a regular feature of the game and just after the restart another effort whistled past Van der Sar's left-hand post.

For Split's second goal, Facundo Sava went to sleep, allowing Vejic to escape and head home from Mario Carevic's left-wing corner.

Yet now nearly three months into their European campaign, Fulham showed coolness under pressure each time manoeuvring their way back into the game.

On 20 minutes in a flowing movement Luis Boa Morte fed the ball into the path of Malbranque, who released Sava.

Dario Srna comes off worst under pressure from Sean Davis and Rufus Brevett
Srna gave Brevett plenty to think about

A posse of Split players immediately crowded round the Argentine, but the ball richocheted across the box to Marlet who calmly slotted the ball home.

It was also Marlet who won the penalty for Fulham, somewhat fortunately, falling over Vejic's tackle.

Malbranque struck the ball into the bottom right corner from the spot, only to be ordered by the referee to retake the kick due to encroachment.

Without blinking the Frenchman stepped up again and put the ball in other corner.

Fulham looked more composed in the second period and Boa Morte, Davis and Malbranque all peppered Stipe Pletikosa's goal with shots.

In a frantic finale, Junichi Inamoto had to head off the line for Fulham as Split almost grabbed a dramatic late victory.


Fulham: Van der Sar, Brevett, Melville, Knight, Ouaddou, Boa Morte (Inamoto 68), Malbranque, Legwinski, Davis, Marlet, Sava (Hayles 75).
Subs not used: Taylor, Clark, Collins, Wome, Leacock.
Booked: Melville, Brevett.
Hajduk Split: Pletikosa, Vejic, Vukovic, Neretljak, Djolonga, Carevic, Andric, Srna, Miladin, Bule, Deranja (Racunica 72).
Subs not used: Runje, Piric, Radeljic, Brgles, Mise, Gudelj.
Booked: Carevic, Neretljak, Srna. Referee: Stefano Farina (Alessandria).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ron Jones
"Fulham made hard work of it"
Fulham's Rufus Brevett
"It wasn't pretty stuff, but it was effective"
Cottagers' keeper Edwin van der Sar
"The Uefa Cup is not about nice football"

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