Friday, August 06, 2010
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Saints can be proud despite 3-1 loss

THE New Saints can be proud of their performance despite going down to a 3-1 Champions League defeat at the hands of mighty Anderlecht.

They recovered from a disastrous start to match their multi-million pound opponents stride for stride for much of the game, before conceding a sloppy third goal which effectively killed-off their hopes.
Belgian skipper Olivier Deschacht had already rattled the crossbar with a stinging 20-yarder before Matias Suarez crossed for recent American signing Sacha Kljestan to drive home at the far post with just seven minutes on the clock.
And the visitors forged a two-goal lead when Jonathan Legear scored with a fierce angled drive after an interchance of passes with three-times Belgian footballer of the year Mbark Boussoufa.
But TNS did not let their heads drop and twice went close in the first half as they started to find their feet in front of a crowd of 2,486 at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground.
The Saints' first real chance arrived on 30 minutes when Steve Evans sent a scissor kick looping over the bar from Scott Ruscoe's quickly-taken free-kick.
Craig Jones almost pulled a goal back with a header that whistled wide of the far post from Chris Sharp's cross.
And the Saints did hit back soon after half-time when Jones converted a Scott Ruscoe cross at the far post as the hosts started to come more into the game.
But TNS were themselves hit by a sucker punch when Matias Suarez had all the time in the world to head inside keeper Paul Harrison's far post from a Legear free-kick on 73 minutes.
Photo: Craig Jones nets past Anderlecht keeper Silvio Proto.

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