UDINE - Brazilian Diego scored twice in an enthralling 3-3 draw at Udinese to put Werder Bremen into the UEFA Cup semi-finals with a 6-4 aggregate victory on Thursday. Werder meet fellow German side Hamburg SV in the last four but were fortunate at times against a determined Udinese, who were the last Italian side in European competition. "We are in the semi-final, that's a big achievement," Werder coach Thomas Schaaf told reporters. "In the the first half we gave them too much space and it made life tough. In the second half the goals fortunately came, which gave us security." The open game started at a hectic pace with the noisy Udinese fans doing their best to roar on the home team despite a 3-1 first leg deficit. They took the lead in style after 15 minutes when Switzerland midfielder Gokhan Inler fired in a marvellous dipping shot from 25 yards. Sloppy defending, which had cost Udinese in last week's first leg, allowed Werder to level on 28 minutes. Right back Cristian Zapata miskicked and then lost track of the ball, leaving Diego to charge into the box and produce a wonderful turn before slamming home. COOLLY FINISHED The playmaker, who also scored twice for the Germans in the first leg, had been doubtful before kick off with a knock. Udinese were back in front moments later when Fabio Quagliarella beat the offside trap and coolly finished. The Italy striker, who missed several chances in Bremen before pulling a late goal back, struck again on 38 minutes from the edge of the box to bring the hosts level on aggregate. The second half was just as breathless as the first but Diego dashed the home crowd's hopes on the hour when his header was adjudged to have crossed the line despite goalkeeper Samir Handanovic's efforts. He missed out on a hat-trick when his debateable penalty was saved but team mate Claudio Pizarro made sure of Werder's progression from close range shortly after. Udinese, mid-table in Serie A, struck the post twice through Kwadwo Asamoah's piledriver and Maurizio Domizzi late on. "We created lots and it's a shame. There's a smidgen of bitterness," Udinese boss Pasquale Marino told La7 television. "The fans appreciate what the lads have done, there is a pride in these guys." NEWS: Hamburg survive City onslaught at Eastlands NEWS: Shakhtar sink Marseille to set up all-Ukrainian semi NEWS: Kiev sink PSG to reach UEFA Cup semis NEWS: Germany v Ukraine to contest UEFA Cup final
16 April 2009
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