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Man Utd qualify for knockout stage in UEFA Champions League
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Manchester United routed Dynamo Kiev 4-0 for their fourth successive victory in Group F to make the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.



Manchester United's Wayne Rooney jumps to reach the ball during their Champions League Group F soccer match against Dynamo Kiev in Manchester, northern England, November 7, 2007. [Photo: Reuters]


The 20-year-old defender Gerard Pique opened the scoring for the United, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney put the result beyond doubt, and Cristiano Ronaldo added the fourth with an individual goal.


Manager Alex Ferguson gave several of his senior players a rest but United still had too much for Ukrainian opponents still without a point.


Kiev usually put nine players behind the ball to put pressure upon the United. However, things changed in the 31st minute when a free kick from Ronaldo was headed against Tevez and bounced up for Pique to nod home.


Six minutes later Tevez doubled the lead through a one-two with Rooney before easily beating goalkeeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy.


Kiev's acting coach, former Arsenal player Oleg Luzhniy, made two changes at halftime. After Tevez missed a couple of chances and Daniel Simpson was denied a goal on his European debut, Rooney scored the third 14 minutes from time. Ronaldo then went one better in the 88th.


In Lisbon, Anderson Polga of Sporting deflected a shot by AS Roma midfielder David Pizarro into his own net with a minute to go for a 2-2 draw.


The Portuguese side has four points from four games, three points less than the Italians. Manchester United, who have qualified, lead the group on a maximum 12 points.


Marco Cassetti gave Roma a fourth-minute lead when he hit a drive into the top far corner for his first goal in the competition.


Sporting closed to equalize in the 12th minute when Roma's Brazilian keeper Doni parried a shot by defender Abel but appeared to allow the ball to slip from his grasp over the line.


However Belgian referee Frank de Bleeckere disallowed the goal for a foul by striker Liedson on Doni.


Sporting pulled level 10 minutes later when Doni collided with Roma defender Philippe Mexes, leaving Liedson to tap in the loose ball.


Brazilian Liedson put Sporting ahead with a header in the 64th minute, and Pizarro's 89th-minute shot, which Tiago had covered, went inside the keeper's left-hand post when Anderson Polga miscued his attempt at a headed clearance.


"We didn't have even a little bit of luck," Sporting coach Paulo Bento said. "We suffered a goal that could have been avoided.


"We controlled the game and didn't allow Roma to create chances. We turned the match around and unexpectedly suffered the equalizer at a time when it was difficult to react."


(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2007)

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