Wisla Kracow 1 Fulham 0
Fulham crashed to defeat in Poland although they were hampered by a very poor referee.
The Group K encounter got underway on a cold evening in Kracow and it was a half that was to have a very contentious decision make it a very awkward final hour for Fulham.
Although Fulham had the greater possession it was the home side that created the few chances there were. Their forward, Illiev looked particularly lively.
As early as the fifth minute he saw a shot blocked after the home side had launched a quick counter-attack. Five minutes later he saw a low shot saved by Schwarzer and a minute late his eagerness to shoot on sight saw a shot, from distance, deflected onto the bar by Hangeland.
In the twentieth minute another shot, after a decent one-two with a team-mate, saw Schwarzer forced to pull off another save.
Midway through the half Briggs delivered a delightfully teasing ball into the danger area that just evaded everyone, before Dembele saw a low shot saved by the home keeper after some good work by Etuhu.
That man Illiev then shot wide from seven yards after cutting inside Kelly before the referee took centre stage.
With the action switching from end to end, Dembele tussled with Nunez, Dembele just pushed Nunez and the Argentine fell theatrically to the floor. The referee, Martin Hannsson, of Sweden, wasted no time in producing the red card.
Johnson switched to the flank to cover Dembele`s absence but the home side finished strongly with Gargula seeing a shot saved and Biton lifting a shot over the bar from inside the area.
Half Time - Kracow 0 Fulham 0
The second half was delayed for some ten minutes after a partial floodlight failure caused by a dodgy generator. When the half finally started Briggs forced an early corner, taken by Duff, bit it was easily cleared.
Schwarzer, on fifty-two minutes, pulled off a good save to run a long range shot from Wilk around the post.
Sa, seven minutes later, departed with a hamstring injury, replaced by Kasami, and a minute later our hosts went ahead.
The goal, a decent strike from twenty-two yards out, came from Biton with his low shot beating Schwarzer just inside the post.
Kracow were now pushing forward and Schwarzer had to pull off two saves from Kirm to keep Fulham in the game, whilst a bouncing shot from Nunez also forced the keeper into action.
A free kick won, and taken by Duff, went for a corner that was easily dealt with while Biton, hoping to double his tally for the night, shot high and wide after a swift break.
With fifteen minutes of normal time left, Jol introduced Sidwell for Gecov ad when Sidwell was fouled some twenty-five yards out another possible chance went begging when Johnson saw his shot blocked.
Four minutes from time it became ten-aside when Chavez was shown a second yellow card after a series of fouls, to add to the one he received in the first half.
Fulham pressed during the three minutes of stoppage time but couldn`t get that equaliser, despite the introduction of Frei.
Vital Fulham on:
Vital Fulham on:
Join Vital Fulham
It's easy to REGISTER HERE, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!