Going for goals

Tuesday 30 July 2002

Last Saturday saw the first team travel to Athens to take on Egaleo in the second leg of the Intertoto Cup third round.

Despite the humid conditions, the Whites came through and notched up a creditable draw, which was enough to qualify for the next round.

Speaking to Fulham Today, assistant manager Christian Damiano was happy that his side put in such a solid away display.

"The match was played in difficult conditions. Even though we played in the evening, it was very hot and the temperature disturbed the quality of the game.

"We were unlucky that the referee allowed Egaleo's goal, which came after two consecutive handballs.

"But we were not worried during the match. They had a good chance to score at the end of the game but we were very solid and always in a good position," said Damiano.

The aggregate victory sets up a semi-final encounter against French side Sochaux at Loftus Road.

Wednesday's visitors will be no strangers to many of the players and management, as they met last season in a friendly. On that occasion Sochaux won the match 2-0, but this time Damiano expects Fulham to put up much more resistance.

"We played last season's game against Sochaux in very different conditions," Damiano revealed. "We were missing six or seven players. Today the situation will be more in balance. Sochaux are a good team, they finished mid-table last season.

"They play with good spirit and try to play football. Sochaux are not a physical side but they are, technically and tactically, a very able side. We have a strong team in front of us, they had a good away result in the previous round.

"This game is going to be very tactical, Sochaux have a very flexible side that can adapt to their opposition. They can change to playing with three central defenders or three strikers very easily.

"But our team is in good condition, we hope to have Inamoto and Rufus available for selection. I think we will be able to score some goals in this match. Both Saha and Marlet played very well in Greece and I think we can expect goals."