Competition: UEFA Cup, First Round, First Leg.
CS Maritimo: Van Der Straeten; Jorge, Soares, Serges, Eusebio; Oscar, Antonio (Gama), Da Silva, Lopez (Cruz); Duveau (Moreiri), Bunbury. Unused Subs: Bach, Jokonovic, Fernandez, Nelson Vasco.
Referee: Alain Sars (
task-master George Graham preached patience after seeing United hit a brick
wall on their return to
Jimmy Hasselbaink found the key to unlock Maritimo’s defensive door just as the bolts were being slammed into place to give United a slight edge in this UEFA Cup-tie. The eighty-fourth minute goal that he drilled in from one of United’s intricate set-piece situations might well have proven to be a precious commodity when George Graham’s men had to make the trip to Madeira for the second leg in Funchal two weeks later, but for long periods it looked as though Maritimo’s resolute and uncompromising tackling would earn them the goalless draw they wanted as they attempted to smother United under a blanket defence.
It was a
typical display from a visiting European side with a packed defence
which was technically very sound and well organized, the Maritimo
back four had the height and steel and were quick to close down the United forwards. Star striker Alex Bunbury
had admitted that would be his side’s tactics and that he hoped to nick a goal
at the other end. That would have been the unfancied
Portuguese team’s ideal outcome, but in reality, Robert Molenaar
and Lucas Radebe kept a firm grip on the lone
attacker and generally there was little worry for the
George Graham tried to freshen things up by introducing first Derek Lilley for Clyde Wijnhard, just after the hour mark, and then Bruno Ribeiro for Alfie Haaland, five minutes later, and finally Lee Sharpe for David Hopkin, with fifteen minutes left on the clock, but no reward came until six minutes from time. Mario Antonio brought down Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink just outside of the penalty area and, from a well practiced set-piece, Bruno Ribeiro pushed the ball to Lee Sharpe, who set up Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink to fire a low angled shot into the corner of the net wide of the diving Yves Van Der Straeten in the Maritimo goal. Lee Sharpe later almost made it 2-0 but the alert Yves Van Der Straeten palmed his shot round the post. United now knew the strength of the Maritimo defence, but their attack remained an unknown quantity since, apart from some wild speculative long-range shots, they failed to test Nigel Martyn in the Leeds goal.
George Graham summed up the match and European frustrations. “I was despairing that the goal would never come. We expected them to defend and I thought they did it well but this is something the players and the fans are going to have to live with. European games can be frustrating and your patience can wear a bit thin. But I think we got what we deserved by winning the game.”
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink scores the only goal
Scorer Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink is pursued by Lee Sharp Ian Harte and Robert Molenaar
Harry Kewell leads the Maritimo defence a merry dance
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink breaks through the Maritimo defence
David Hopkin goes in hard
Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink Robert Molenaar and Lucas Radebe kept a tight hold on the lone attacker Alex Bunbury
scored the only goal
David Hopkin got in a cross but Harry Kewell volleyed wide Lee Bowyer’s shot was just over
Derek Lilley, Bruno Ribeiro and Lee Sharpe all came on as substitutes
Defender Jorge Soares had Forward Patrick Asselman had experience with Midfielder Paulo Sergio Da Silva had
joined from Benfica in the summer Standard