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Guzan blameless as Villa downed by Hamburg
by Ian Plenderleith, December 18th, 2008 7AM



[UEFA CUP] The final three places at stake in Groups E to H were wrapped up Wednesday as Deportivo Coruna, Lech Poznan and FC Copenhagen all won by a single goal to edge into the spring's knockout round of 32. U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan played in goal for Aston Villa in a second-string lineup at Hamburg, but as both teams had already qualified, the 3-1 defeat was of no consequence.
Guzan in fact was left stranded by his defense on all three goals, with in-form Mladen Petric shooting the first, and Ivica Olic netting a well-taken duo. Villa had Steve Sidwell sent off six minutes from time, one minute after Nathan Delfouneso had deflected a shot in for Villa's consolation goal.
Spanish team Deportivo Coruna left it late to qualify on a goal from Rodolfo Bodipo with just under 20 minutes left of its Group H game with Nancy. That result wouldn't have mattered to Nancy had Lech Poznan not won its first game of the group campaign on the road at pointless Feyenoord through a first-half goal from Serbian defender Ivan Djurdjevic.
The "winner-goes-through" clash in Group G between Club Brugge and FC Copenhagen, both previously winless, hardly set the night on fire, but it did at least produce a winner thanks to a goal just before the hour from Cesar Santin for the Danish club. It joined Valencia and St. Etienne in the round of 32.
Group E
AC Milan 2 (Ambrosini, Pato) Wolfsburg 2 (Zaccardo, Saglik)
Portsmouth 3 (Crouch 2, Hreidarsson) Heerenveen 0
Standings: *Wolfsburg (10 points), *AC Milan (8), *Braga (6), Portsmouth (4), Heerenveen (0)
Group F
Hamburg 3 (Petric, Olic 2) Aston Villa 1 (Delfouneso)
Ajax 2 (Vertonghen, Suarez PK) Slavia Prague 2 (Cerny, Jarolim)
Standings: *Hamburg (9 points), *Ajax (7), *Aston Villa (6), MSK Zilina (4), Slavia Prague (2)
Group G
St. Etienne 2 (Ilan 2) Valencia 2 (Morientes, Zigic)
Club Brugge 0 FC Copenhagen 1 (Santin)
DID NOT PLAY: Rosenborg Trondheim
Standings: *St. Etienne (8 points), *Valencia (6), *FC Copenhagen (5), Club Brugge (3), Rosenborg (2)
Group H
Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Bodipo) AS Nancy 0
Feyenoord 0 Lech Poznan 1 (Djurdjevic)
Standings: *CSKA Moscow (12 points), *Deportivo Coruna (7), *Lech Poznan (5), Nancy (4), Feyenoord (0)
Format: Top three teams from each group qualify for next knockout round, together with the eight third-place teams from the Champions League group phase.


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