Football: Metz foiled by Finns

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The Independent Online
METZ, THE runners-up in the French League last season, failed to qualify for the Champions' League last night when they were held 1- 1 at home by HJK Helsinki and went out 2-1 on aggregate.

Both sides finished with 10 men after the Metz substitute, Ludovic Asuar, and the HJK midfielder, Aarno Turpeinen, were sent off in the final quarter of an hour.

HJK's substitute, Vesa Vassara, put his side ahead 21 minutes from time with a header and the Metz playmaker, Frederic Meyrieu, equalised with a penalty 10 minutes later.

There were no such slips for Internazionale, who disposed of Skonto Riga 7-1 on aggregate. Their 4-0 victory in the first leg in Milan enabled them to saunter through the return in Latvia, winning 3-1. The Chilean striker Ivan Zamarano scored with a header in the eighth minute, Fabio Galante added a second in the 54th minute with another header, and the Frenchman, Youri Djorkaeff, sealed the rout with a powerful shot from inside the penalty area in the 71st minute.

Athletic Bilbao cut it fine against Dynamo Tbilisi. Joseba Etxeberria scored the only goal of the return leg in Spain five minutes into the second half to square the aggregate at 2-2 and put Bilbao through on the away-goals rule. The match changed shortly after the interval when Dynamo's David Mujiri was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Norway's champions similarly benefited from the tie-break rule. Rosenborg Trondheim lost 4-2 to Club Bruges in Belgium, but they went through to the Champions' League for the fourth successive season courtesy of their 2-0 victory in the first leg.

Dynamo Kiev cut things even finer. Surprisingly beaten 1-0 at home by Sparta Prague in the first leg, Dynamo finally found an equaliser in the 88th minute last night when Andrei Shevchenko forced the ball home off Sparta's Antonin Mlejnsky. After goalless extra time, Dynamo went through 3-1 on penalties.