Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday December 1 2011
A late loss in Holland, leaves Fulham with it all to do to qualify for the next stages of the Europa League.
The Fulham side had a familiar look to it, especially defensively, with Hughes returning to the middle of the defence to play alongside Hangeland. Up front Zamora was alongside Johnson with Dembele supporting. In midfield Etuhu continued alongside Murphy with Sidwell missing out through injury.
Over 3,500 Fulham fans had travelled over, a fantastic away support for a club like ours.
With Twente not having been beaten at home in over a year in the Dutch League, Fulham were very cautious in the opening exchanges, keeping numbers behind the ball and showing very little ambition with the first ten minutes passing with very little action of note.
Fulham`s first excursion forward saw Kelly burst down the wing but his ball into the box fell the wrong side of Zamora. Our hosts responded with a chance of their own with Chadli testing Schwarzer with a low drive, from the corner of the box, that was well dealt with by the keeper.
Two minutes later the same player tested Schwarzer again, this time with another low shot that had Schwarzer scrambling to save. Our Australian keeper was being kept the busier of the two keepers and had to produce another smart save from Far denying the player with a save from his shot from just inside the area.
Fulham, despite the good start, were now under the cosh as the hosts poured forward confidently with just under a half o the opening half played.
As the half hour mark approached, Fulham were having trouble getting the ball out of there own half.
Duff, looked to have aggravated a calf strain and limped off to be replaced by Frei.
With half time approaching, Murphy saw a through ball, directed towards Johnson, cut out by the Twente keeper.
Right on the stroke of half time Twente threatened again. This time it was through Far but before he could test Schwarzer, Hangeland was on hand with a fabulous tackle to save us.
Half Time - Twente 0 Fulham 0
Fulham got the second half underway with Twente having made the one change bringing on Ola John for Landzaat. The substitute was to be involved in the first chance of the second half swinging in a corner that saw De Jong`s header go wide.
Fulham responded with an attack of there own with Kelly`s cross being headed wide by Johnson. After going the entire first forty-five minutes without a shot on target Fulham were now looking more adventurous.
Twente though upped the ante and Bajrami hit a shot wide from long range whilst moments before John, causing problems out wide, had beaten Kelly before seeing his cross just evade de Jong on the back stick.
With an hour gone, though, it was still all square at 0-0.
Fuham half-heartedly appealed for a penalty when Frei went down under a challenge from Brama as he attempted to latch onto a ball from Dembele but the referee was having none of it.
Johnson, having just been booked, minutes later missed a glorious chance to put Fulham ahead. Kelly`s cross took a deflection and Johnson saw his shot, from twelve yards, go wide.
With the game opening up, Twente contrived to miss an even easier chance when de Jong, unmarked, glanced a header from eight yards out, wide of the post. Zamora was the next player guilty of failing to take a chance when he slipped a shot wide after a great ball from Murphy.
Bajrami then had a shot blocked after an assist from de Jong. With ten minutes left it was all to play for. As the clock ticked down, only five minutes to go, Dembele limped off to be replaced by Kasami.
With only minutes to go Jol threw on Sa in place of Zamora. But just as you thought Fulham had held out for a draw Twente got the match winner through their seventy-ninth minute substitute Janko.
Bajrami was the instigator of the goal providing a great cross for Janko to finish from close range, but in acres of space.
Matters got worse in the dying seconds when Johnson received a red card after picking up a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Not the finish we`d hoped for.
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Date:Thursday December 1 2011
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