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Sporting Lisbon stuns Newcastle

FOOTBALL/ CSKA v Parma, Sporting v AZ semifinals in UEFA Cup

LONDON: Two-time UEFA Cup champion Parma and 1981 finalist AZ Alkmaar have reached the semifinals of the UEFA Cup with draws.

Parma, the 1995 and '99 winner, held visiting Austria Vienna to a 0-0 draw and advanced on away goals after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. AZ drew 1-1 with Villarreal and advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

Sporting Lisbon and CSKA Moscow also advanced to the last four. Sporting scored four straight goals to beat Newcastle 4-1 and 4-2 on aggregate, while CSKA lost to Auxerre 2-0 but still moved on with a 4-2 aggregate win.

CSKA will play Parma in the semifinals on April 28 and May 5, and Sporting will face AZ. The final is set for May 18 at Alvalade Stadium, Sporting's home.

Big defeat

Sporting played without suspended Liedson but still managed to overcome Newcastle, which took the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute when Kieron Dyer scored.

Marius Niculae, standing in for Liedson, sneaked between Newcastle's central defenders to head in the equaliser in the 40th.

In the second half, Ricardo Sa Pinto put Sporting in the lead in the 72nd, and Roberto Beto headed in another to make it 3-1 in the 76th. Fabio Rochemback scored the final goal in the 90th.

``To concede four goals — you don't deserve to win any football match,'' said Dyer, who came off at halftime with a suspected hamstring injury. ``Our defending was not good enough, as a collective unit we were not good enough.''

Newcastle fielded goalkeeper Shay Given, who sustained a hip injury in the 1-0 first-leg win at St. James' Park and missed the club's next Premier League match.

Newcastle won this tournament in 1969 when it was called the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup - its last trophy in any competition.

Goalless draw

In Parma, the solid back-line of Daniele Bonera, Paolo Cannavaro and Giuseppe Cardone helped ensure the goalless draw.

Austria Vienna, which was seeking its first European semifinal since the 1983 Cup Winners' Cup, had its share of chances. Parma goalkeeper Luca Bucci kept out two shots from Sebastian Mila and made a leaping save to knock Czech midfielder Libor Sionko's free kick off the post.

``There are no stars on this team. Everyone who plays is important, that's the strength of this team,'' Bucci said.

With an eye on Parma's battle to avoid relegation in Serie A, coach Pietro Carmignani kept international striker Alberto Gilardino on the bench for the first-half. The team's best chances came from Ibrahima Camara and Fabio Simplicio.

``We were up against a good team and we worked for it and deserved it,'' Carmignani said.

AZ holds Villarreal

AZ, which lost to Ipswich in the 1981 UEFA Cup final, took the lead in the eighth minute when Kenneth Perez scored with a 20-meter (yard) shot to the far post. Lucho Figueroa equalized for Villarreal in the 72nd minute by finishing a cross from Juan Roman Riquelme.

Both teams played most of the match with 10 men.

AZ defender Barry Opdam received his second yellow card in three minutes with a late tackle on striker Jose Mari Romero and was sent off in the 21st minute.

Jose Mari was red-carded seconds later for kicking Barry van Galen.

CSKA will be making its first appearance in a European semifinal. Its previous best performance was in the 1972 European Cup, when it made the quarterfinals.

Auxerre captain Yann Lachuer scored the first goal in the ninth minute, playing a headed pass by Bonaventure Kalou into the back of the net. Kalou then converted a penalty in the 77th after a foul on Luigi Pieroni in the box.

The results: Quarterfinals (second leg): Auxerre (France) 2 bt CSKA Moscow (Russia) 0 (CSKA advances 4-2 on aggregate); AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands) 1 drew with Villarreal (Spain) 1 (AZ advances 3-2); Parma (Italy) 0 drew with Austria Vienna (Austria) 0 (Aggregate 1-1; Parma advances on away goals); Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) 4 bt Newcastle (England) 1 (Sporting advances 4-2) — AP

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