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Odense BK 2-2 VILLA
All the Intertoto Cup action from Fionia Park (ko 8.05pm CET)
19th Jul 2008
Odense BK 2-2 VILLA

Villa's quest for UEFA Cup football got off to a decent start here in Denmark but it could have been even better.

With just over 30 seconds left on the clock, Martin Laursen's second-half header looked to have given Martin O'Neill's men a 2-1 lead to take into next week's second-leg.

But Anders Moller Christiansen struck in the final minute to share the spoils from an entertaining Intertoto Cup clash.

Earlier John Carew capped a strong Villa start with a seventh minute goal but saw his effort cancelled out by a Steve Sidwell own-goal.

As Villa made a bright start, Carew failed to find Young at the far post with a looping cross on four.

Villa had the lead and a vital away goal on seven as Onyszko blocked Young's low drive and Carew hammered the rebound into the roof of the net from close range.

Keeper Onyszko raced out of the box to deny Agbonlahor a minute later as Villa took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Agbonlahor met Carew's flick with a neat turn and run on 11 but his rising drive was deflected over the bar - though Villa were not awarded a corner.

Laursen ambitiously tried his luck from 40 yards three minutes later but fired high over the bar.

Agbonlahor raced onto Gardner's lofted through ball on 18 but was unable to control.

Sidwell fired narrowly over the bar moments later as he met a Petrov flick on the edge of the box.

Fall headed tamely at Taylor on 19 as he met Henrik Hansen's cross.

Odense were level on 25 as Sidwell directed Haaland's left-wing cross past his own keeper.

Runstrom sent a diving header past the post on 27 as the hosts were clearly lifted by the equaliser.

Absalonsen's low angled drive from the left was blocked by Taylor on 30.

Young's left-wing free-kick just evaded Laursen on 41, running through to keeper Onyszko.

Hansen fired over the bar on 45 after a surging run from former Villa man Djemba-Djemba.

Taylor did well to parry Absalonsen's low drive on 51and then blocked Fall's follow-up.

Moments later Gardner cleared Andreasen's looping header off the linen as Odense made a strong start to the second-half.

Bouma headed Absalonsen's left-wing centre behind for a corner on 55.

The Dutch international then forced a smart save from Onyszko two minutes later as he unleashed a left-foot drive from 35 yards.

Fall headed wide on 61 as he rose to meet Absalonsen's left-wing cross.

Agbonlahor raced down the left on 64 and cut into the box but saw his low shot deflected behind for a corner.

Young's rising effort from the edge of the box was deflected behind for another corner on 67. Laursen met Young's corner but was unable to force the ball over the line and Djemba-Djemba cleared.

Sidwell almost atoned for his earlier own-goal on 75 but flicked narrowly wide from close range as he raced in to meet Young's clever through ball.

Dane Laursen restored Villa's lead on 76, rising above the Odense defence to head home Young's left-wing free-kick.

Onyszko had to be alert to palm another Young free-kick wide on 79 as Villa rediscovered some of their earlier vigour.

Laursen did well to block Fall's right-foot effort on 83 as the hosts looked for a second equaliser.

Young curled a right-foot free-kick straight at Onyszko three minutes later. Carew was then denied by the keeper as he fired in an angled drive.

Laursen almost had his second of the match with a firm header from Young's corner on 88 but Onyszko made a world class save to deny the Dane.

Christensen levelled matters for the home side in the 90th minute, firing low past Taylor as he met Fall's lay-off.

Odense: Onyszko, Haaland, Andreasen, Christiansen (booked 86), E.Helveg, Hansen, Fall, Runstrom, Absalonsen, H.Hansen, Sorensen. Subs: Lindegaard, Ruud, Troest, Djemba-Djemba (for E.Hansen 28), Bolanos (for Runstrom 78), Nielsen, Bisgaard.

VILLA: Taylor, Gardner, Bouma, Laursen, Knight, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Young (booked 32), Petrov, Agbonlahor, Carew (booked 29). Subs: Parish, Harewood, Salifou, Routledge (fotr Sidwell 82), Osbourne, Maloney, Baker.

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