2. U.S. ABROAD: Friedel's Blackburn wins UEFA Cup group
American Brad Friedel was in
goal as Blackburn Rovers shut out French club Nancy, 1-0, on Wednesday
to win its UEFA Cup group.
The win in Europe was a welcome relief for Blackburn, which has
struggled in the English Premier League with one win, one tie and six
losses in its last eight games. Nancy had the better of play, but
Blackburn won on Australian Lucas
Neill's goal in stoppage time. Friedel made two big saves on
shots by Nancy's Benjamin Gavanon
-- one on Gavanon's chip from near the midfield
line. Shortly before halftime, Friedel was spared when Brazilian
striker Kim hit the crossbar.
By winning its group, Blackburn avoids the eight third-place Champions
League teams that drop into the UEFA Cup when the draw for the round of
32 takes place on Friday.
Elsewhere in England on Wednesday, former U.S. U-17 resident Andrew Giallombardo made his debut
for Southampton's U-18 team in a 3-2 victory over Ipswich.
The 5-foot-8 midfielder from Manalapan, N.J., played after receiving
clearance from Britain's Home Office to join the Southampton academy
program. The U-18s' coach, veteran Frenchman Georges Prost, said Giallombardo
would be a "good boost for the team."
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