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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Football

Sneijder strike sinks Juve, sends Galatasaray to final 16
AFP
Istanbul, December 12, 2013
First Published: 01:05 IST(12/12/2013)
Last Updated: 01:06 IST(12/12/2013)

An 85th minute strike from Wesley Sneijder secured what will go down as a 1-0 win for Galatasaray over Juventus and a place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.

Galatasaray's second win in six games left them second in Group B on seven points, allowing the Turkish giants to join Real Madrid in the last 16 of the competition.

The match resumed in the 32nd minute at the Ali Sami Yen stadium after officials called a halt to proceedings while the match stood 0-0 on Tuesday due to heavy snowfall.

Officials had managed to clear the pitch of snow for the remaining 59 minutes of the game, however snow continued to fall and several areas of the pitch were virtually unplayable.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte was clearly unhappy, especially as a large chunk of damaged pitch lay in Juventus's attacking end for the second half. He complained vociferously of the playing conditions to the match referee at half-time, but to no avail.

It made for a farcical game of football, with many passes incompleted, overplayed and stuck in the mud as players tried to compensate for the poor conditions underfoot.

Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini admitted the "dangerous" conditions should have perhaps led to another postponement.

"It was difficult to play the ball, maybe it would have been better not to play. It was dangerous for the players," Mancini told Sky Sport Italia.

Conte said his pleas to have the match postponed fell on deaf ears. "We've been penalised in a very harsh manner," complained the Juve  coach. "I congratulated the lads because they gave everything they could on a pitch that wasn't fit for football."


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