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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Valencia CF 1-Brugge 1

Valencia 1, Brugge 1

Queue the Beach Boy music, dig out the surf trunks, find the Frisbee, it's summer again. At least it's not arctic cold as it has been for the past two weeks. I noticed that it started getting warmer on Thursday evening when I went to the Valencia CF-Brugge UEFA Cup match at Mestalla. I was wearing just about every bit of clothing that I own and felt like the Michelin Man. I was warm but I wouldn't say that I was over-dressed. It turned out to be a great game even though Valencia had many of their starters on the bench resting for Saturday's match with Barça. It was a good chance to take a look at some of the up-and-coming players. I was especially impressed with Pablo H who made a bunch of brilliant crosses from the right. Fans were a bit annoyed that their giant striker, Nicoli Zigic, wasn't able to put one of these gifts in the net for Valencia. Brugge scored first in the 18th minute but then Valencia did something that I have never seen them do before—ever. They scored a corner in the 60th minute thanks to Zigic. I have never seen the Spanish national team score a corner goal, either.

Valencia is in second place (5 points) in Group G behind St Etiene (7 points) who they will play in France on December 17 for the top spot. It looks good for Valencia because the winners, runners-up and third-placed team advance to the knockout phase, at which point they are joined by the eight clubs which finish in third place in each of the groups in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Group stage 23 Oct - 18 Dec 2008

Round of 32 18 - 26 February 2009 (Two game [home-away] knock-out stage)

Round of 16 12 - 19 March 2009

Quarter-finals 09 - 16 April 2009

Semi-finals 30 Apr - 07 May 2009

Final 20 May 2009

I hope to see Valencia in the final.

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