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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tuncay double stuns Villa

Middlesbrough striker Tuncay Sanli scored a last-gasp winner as Gareth Southgate's side beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Sunday.

Tuncay had only scored once in six appearance this season but the Turkey international put that barren run behind him in impressive style at Villa Park.

He gave Middlesbrough the lead in the first half and, after Steve Sidwell levelled for Villa, the former Fenerbahce star grabbed the winner with two minutes to play.

That condemned Martin O'Neill's side to their second successive defeat and left them in fifth place, while mid-table Middlesbrough are now unbeaten in four matches.

Middlesbrough started well and Stewart Downing had their first meaningful attempt at goal, but his 25-yarder curled wide.

England midfielder Gareth Barry had Villa's first chance but his shot was easily saved by Ross Turnbull.

Downing was looking sharp and Afonso Alves just failed to make contact with an inviting low centre that flew across the box.

Ashley Young won a free-kick just outside the Boro box after being fouled by Jeremie Aliadiere. The winger took it himself and his strike deflected off Gary O'Neil and was tipped over the bar by Turnbull.

Barry's ensuing corner was met by Villa skipper Martin Laursen but his header skimmed past a post.

A mistake by Villa defender Nicky Shorey gifted the opening goal to Boro striker Tuncay. Downing whipped in a cross from the left flank that Shorey was first to react to but he only deflected the ball into the path of Tuncay, who crashed a low shot past Brad Friedel.

The visitors' lead lasted only three minutes before Sidwell capped an impressive game with the Villa equaliser.

Agbonlahor's initial goal-bound shot was cleared by Andrew Taylor but it was only a temporary reprieve. The ball broke to Milner on the left side of the box and his measured centre to the far post was headed in by Sidwell.

Villa made a good start to the second half and Agbonlahor sprinted clear of Riggott after running on to a pass from Barry. He burst into the Boro box but just slightly over-ran the ball and allowed Turnbull the split second to position himself and block the eventual shot.

Barry then got to the by-line and cut the ball back to Milner whose first-time drive forced a fine save out of Turnbull.

Villa were soon back on the attack and Turnbull parried away a powerful rising drive from Young.

The Villa winger was then booked for bringing down O'Neil before coming to his side's rescue by clearing a Riggott header off the line.

Alves should have won the game for Boro but shot wide with the goal at his mercy after Friedel had parried a Didier Digard drive.

But with two minutes left Tuncay cashed in on a woeful back-pass by Sidwell to steal all three points.

Source: AFP

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