Fulham through but Villa bow out of Intertoto

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FULHAM got into the finals of the Intertoto Cup following an impressive 2-0 win in France against Sochaux, but Aston Villa fell at home to a similar scoreline and crashed out of the competition.

A tense first half in France, with The Cottagers clinging to their single goal victory in London, ended scoreless.

However, once Sylvain Legwinski put Jean Tigana's side in front in the 63rd minute, the relief was tangible and Barry Hayles doubled the advantage and put the contest beyond doubt ten minutes later.

The frustration eventually got to Sochaux who had Bernoit Pedreti sent off in the 80th minute.

Deprived of two of their best midfielders, Paul Merson and George Boateng, in recent transfers Villa were put to the sword by Lille.

Two goals in a minute, either side of half-time, by the French club sent the Villa Park crowd silent.

Abdelilah Fahmi (pictured) grabbed the first in the 45th minute and Nicolas Bonnal got the second away goal in the 46th.

Villarreal's European dreams ended in France on Wednesday despite opening the scoring early on.

Javier Calleja struck first for the Spaniards in the sixth minute, but Troyes, who made it into the Uefa Cup through the Intertoto competition last season at the expense of Newcastle, showed their fighting qualities to equalise through Farid Ghazi in the 40th minute.

A scoreless draw in the first leg was Villarreal's downfall as was their inability to take advantage of Troyes' ten men following the sending off of Gharib Amzine on the stroke of half time.

However, Nicolas Gousse's penalty in the 57th minute proved the decider as the French side ran out 2-1 winners.

There was some good news for La Liga sides as Malaga beat Willem II 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate to advance.

Dely Valdes's goal midway through the second half proved the clincher.

Sean Dundee secured Stuttgart's passage into the Intertoto Cup final as his 38th minute goal gave the Germans a 1-0 win in Croatia against Slaven Belupo.

The tie was tantalisingly poised at 2-1 from the first leg, but Dundee's strike seven minutes from the break gave Stuttgart the breathing space they required and although the home side pressed on in the second half they could not breach the visiting defence.

Bologna became the first team to secure their place in the finals of the Uefa Intertoto Cup following a comprehensive 8-2 aggregate win over FK Teplice.

The Czech side, having lost 5-1 in Italy decided to rest most of their stars and the Italians struck three times in the first half to ensure there would be no upset.

Carlo Nervo beat the home side's offside trap to slot home the first goal on the quarter hour.

Team-mate Claudio Bellucci notched a brace to nail Teplice's coffin firmly shut, although the Czechs restored some credibility with a Damir Grlic strike in the last minute to leave the score at 3-1.