Aston Villa 1-0 Odense
Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Aston Villa booked a spot in the final Uefa Cup qualifying round with a win over Odense but the match was marred by a serious injury to Wilfred Bouma, reports BBC.

The Dutch defender suffered a dislocated ankle early in a match that Villa won thanks to a second-half strike from Ashley Young.

The England midfielder fired in an unstoppable shot from 20 yards that gave keeper Arkadiusz Onyszko no hope.

John Carew also went close with a header that hit the crossbar.

Villa began brightly but the early injury to Bouma, which resulted in play being stopped for about five minutes in order for treatment to be administered, seemed to unsettle Martin O'Neill's side during the first half.

Nevertheless, the Premier League outfit went close on a handful of occasions, with Young's free-kick deflected over the bar by Jonas Troest before Carew screwed his turn-and-shot fractionally wide.

There were a couple of scares for the home side, with Henrik Hansen forcing a save from Stuart Taylor and Baye Fall striking the post after finding himself in a one-on-one situation with the Villa keeper.

O'Neill's men looked a different proposition after the break as first-half substitute Gareth Barry exerted his influence.

Barry had come on to replace Bouma in defence and received a warm welcome, despite facing the wrath of Villa fans in the midweek friendly against Walsall as a consequence of his desire to leave the club.

The England midfielder took a number of pinpoint set-pieces but had little say in Villa's winner, which was created and finished by his international team-mate Young.

The sprightly winger cut in from the left to smash a vicious effort into the top left corner.

Villa upped the tempo and should have had at least doubled their total, with Carew hitting the bar from Barry's free-kick and Gabriel Agbonlahor screwing wide from 12 yards.

But with a poor Odense needing two goals, Villa did not need to panic and they saw out the game comfortably.


Aston Villa: Taylor, Gardner, Laursen, Knight, Bouma (Barry 14), Petrov, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Young, Agbonlahor, Carew.
Subs Not Used: Parish, Harewood, Salifou, Routledge, Osbourne, Maloney.

Goals: Young 50.

Odense BK: Onyszko, Helveg (Ruud 46), Haland, Troest, Sorensen, Andreasen (Bolanos 75), Djemba-Djemba, Henrik Hansen, Absalonsen, Runstrom (Jacobsen 81), Fall.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Bisgaard, Nymann, Nielsen.

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