Sporting stun Newcastle to set up Alkmaar clash

Sporting Lisbon ended Newcastle’s hopes of UEFA Cup glory as they produced a stunning fightback to book their place in the semi-finals tonight.

Sporting Lisbon ended Newcastle’s hopes of UEFA Cup glory as they produced a stunning fightback to book their place in the semi-finals tonight.

Graeme Souness’ men led 2-0 on aggregate when Kieron Dyer put them ahead on the night against the run of play with 20 minutes gone.

However, Romanian striker Marius Niculae equalised after 44 minutes and Sa Pinto made it 2-1 after 71 minutes before Beto edged them in front with 13 minutes remaining.

Fabio Rochemback sealed a 4-1 victory on the night, and a 4-2 aggregate win, with a fourth goal in stoppage time.

Waiting for Sporting in the semi-finals are Eredivisie title challengers AZ Alkmaar, who held off a stirring second half fightback from Villarreal to progress 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw on the night.

Kenneth Perez opened the scoring for the hosts, who went into the game with a 2-1 lead from the first leg thanks to their shock win at El Madrigal.

However there were chaotic scenes half-way through the first half, when the home side’s Barry Opdam was sent off for a second bookable offence, only for Villarreal’s Romero Jose Mari to follow him down the tunnel after being shown the red card for an off-the-ball incident seconds later.

Luciano Figueroa levelled the score on the night with 18 minutes remaining, but the Primera Liga side could not find the goal to force extra-time, and Co Adriaanse’s Alkmaar are now just two games away from reaching the final of the competition for the first time since 1981, when they were beaten over two legs by English side Ipswich Town.

Auxerre defeated CSKA Moscow 2-0 but were made to pay for their 4-0 first-leg defeat as the Russian side eased to a UEFA Cup semi-final clash with Italian outfit Parma.

Valeriy Gazzaev’s men essentially booked their place with a thumping 4-0 win in Moscow and despite a goal from Yann Lachuer after eight minutes, the French team were made to pay for an terrible first-half display in which they failed to really threaten after the opener.

Guy Roux’s half-time teamtalk appeared to have the desired effect as Auxerre piled pressure on their opponents in the second period but they could only grab one more goal, through a Bonaventure Kalou penalty 10 minutes from time, as the CSKA rearguard stood firm.

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