American Football: Oilers win at 49ers

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The Independent Online
THE Houston Oilers defense produced their best performance under Buddy Ryan on Christmas Day as they travelled to San Francisco and exploited to the full a 49ers team bearing gifts, writes Matt Tench.

The Oilers won 10-7, their 10th successive victory, but both sides will have to improve considerably if they are to meet again in the Super Bowl. Houston scored all their points in the second quarter, with Al del Greco converting a 23-yard field goal and Warren Moon locating Ernest Givens with a seven-yard touchdown pass.

Ryan, who joined the Oilers as defensive coordinator this year, saw his team intercept the 49ers quarterback Steve Young twice in the end zone. Young was replaced late in the third quarter by Steve Bono, who marshalled a 73-yard scoring drive.