Thursday 30 July 2009, 6:00pm
UEFA Europa League
FK Vetra
FK Vetra
0
Fulham FC
Fulham
3
Zamora 44'; Murphy (pen) 56'; Seol Ki-Hyeon 84'
Fulham win an exciting contest 3-0 against FK Vetra.

44' Goal

Bobby Zamora

56' Penalty

Danny Murphy

84' Goal

Seol Ki-Hyeon
Assist by Bobby Zamora

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Andrew Johnson

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Seol Ki-Hyeon
Off:Clint Dempsey

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bjorn Helge Riise
Off:Danny Murphy

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

The Club, players and supporters paid tribute to Sir Bobby Robson before kick-off by observing a one-minute silence to the legendary former Fulham player and England manager.

The visitors from Vilnius got the game underway on an extremely slick surface. A severe downpour preceded kick-off at Craven Cottage on a humid summer evening.

 After just two minutes of play Bobby Zamora produced a superb turn and shot on the edge of the area which flew just wide of goal. It was a great piece of skill by the striker early on which almost extended Fulham's aggregate lead.

Fulham were camped inside FK Vetra’s half during the opening exchanges. Quick one-touch passing created the space with Dempsey and Konchesky enjoying the freedom to exploit the space down the left flank.

After Fulham’s early surge the game entered a quiet phase but after 11 minutes Razanauskas fired in a long-range effort, which was heading for the roof of the net. Fortunately Schwarzer was well positioned to tip the ball over the cross bar.

To their credit, Fulham’s goal advantage from the first leg certainly didn’t affect FK Vetra’s enthusiasm and energy for the tie. On 21 minutes left back Paulauskas launched a 35-yard left-footed shot on goal from the left channel that whistled just wide of Schwarzer’s near post.

Five minutes after Paulauskas’ thunderous effort Fulham almost broke the deadlock twice in as many minutes. First Bobby Zamora tried the spectacular when he attempted to volley the ball goalwards as it dropped over his left shoulder. The ball skimmed wide but it was a worthy effort by the striker.

Seconds later Dempsey drifted down the left flank before producing a superbly disguised reverse pass to Konchesky.  Konchesky’s cross was met in the area by Johnson whose headed effort came back off the crossbar. Gera attempted to fire in the rebound but his shot was blocked on the line. 

On the half hour mark, Paul Konchesky almost produced an early contender for goal of the season. The left back collected the ball 30 yards from goal down the left flank and as he assessed his options the home crowd screamed ‘shoot’. ‘Konch’ duly obliged and his shot screamed just wide of the far post.

Five minutes before the break Clint Dempsey latched onto Johnson’s cross from the right and executed a fine half volley from the edge of the area. The ball had FK Vetra keeper Valincius beaten but the ball was always rising and the American’s effort flew above the bar.

Fulham certainly enjoyed the majority of possession and chances in the first half but failed to deliver a cutting edge to extend their three-nil aggregate lead before the Referee’s whistle blew for half time.

Fulham remained unchanged for the second half and immediately set about attacking towards the Hammersmith End. After barely a minute Johnson fired the ball into the back of the net from the centre of the area but the Referee’s whistle had already blown for an earlier infringement.

Two minutes later Bobby Zamora was next to try his luck with a shot from the left hand side of the area, which was deflected just wide for a corner. From the resulting set piece Fulham’s players were appealing for a penalty followed an alleged handball but the Referee waved play on.

The breakthrough eventually came after 56 minutes when Etuhu met Murphy’s corner and sent a glancing header into the far corner of the net. Etuhu, absent from last week’s away leg due to the birth of his child, celebrated with a customary cradle rock amongst his team mates.

Andy Johnson was certainly looking to make his mark on Thursday night. The striker’s movement was impressive, constantly looking to exploit any space down the channels. Gera and Johnson were certainly on the same wavelength with the Hungarian producing a host of angled passes into the striker’s path from midfield.

The downpour continued during the second half and almost verged on the tropical as the game entered the final twenty minutes. On 73 minutes Gera was left grounded after a fifty-fifty challenge with Paulauskas down the left flank. Gera returned to the action after treatment on the sidelines.

Bobby Zamora produced another superb turn on the half way line to set himself free on goal with fifteen minutes remaining. As the striker entered the area he selflessly crossed the ball to the incoming Johnson. The pace of the ball just beat Johnson as it skidded across the six-yard line.

With thirteen minutes remaining Hodgson made two changes, introducing Stephen Kelly and Bjorn Helge Riise for John Pantsil and Zoltan Gera respectively.

Johnson doubled Fulham’s lead ten minutes from time, latching on to Dempsey’s cross from the left to fire the ball home from close range to increase the Whites lead to two-nil.

Johnson’s strike partner Bobby Zamora was replaced by Eddie Johnson with nine minutes remaining. Two minutes later Andy Johnson grabbed his second goal of the game. Eddie Johnson created the chance with a cross from the left, which Andy Johnson tapped in from close range.

The Hammersmith End’s chant of ‘there’s only one Bobby Robson’ during the closing stages of the game was a fitting end to Thursday night’s European tie.

Fulham’s three-nil win at the Cottage secured a six-nil aggregate score line against their Lithuanian opponents and Roy Hodgson’s team will find out their next European opponents in Friday’s Europa draw.

Match Information

Competition: Europa League Qualifying

Date: Thursday 30 July 2009
Kick-off: 6:00pm

Venue: ,
Attendance: 5,900

Referee: Fritz Stuchlik

FK Vetra

Team line-up is not available.

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Dempsey (Seol Ki-Hyeon 68'), Baird, Murphy (Bjorn Helge Riise 86'), Gera; Johnson (Nevland 68'), Zamora

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Kelly, Kamara, Johnson

Manager: Martin Jol

FK Vetra (4-4-2)
    Substitutes
      Fulham (4-4-2)
      • 1Mark Schwarzer
      • 4John Pantsil
      • 5Brede Hangeland
      • 18Aaron Hughes
      • 3Paul Konchesky
      • 23Clint Dempsey
      • 6Chris Baird
      • 13Danny Murphy
      • 11Zolt├ín Gera
      • 8Andrew Johnson
      • 25Bobby Zamora
      Substitutes
      • 12David Stockdale
      • 2Stephen Kelly
      • 7Seol Ki-Hyeon
      • 17Bjorn Helge Riise
      • 10Erik Nevland
      • 15Diomansy Kamara
      • 21Eddie Johnson
      Manager
      • Martin Jol