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It’s a warm night in Xanthi, as might have been expected,
And, happy with their first leg, their same team has been selected,
With their pitch freshly watered it is, in places, rather soggy,
But, surely, they can’t send Boro back to Teesside feeling groggy.
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They’re unbeaten in four league games, with not a single goal conceded,
So, for 3-nil against the Boro, is what their loyal fans have pleaded,
They’re certainly fired up for this one and the atmosphere’s terrific,
Nevertheless, if Boro don’t go through, it’ll be thought of as horrific.
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About a hundred faithful Boro fans have made the long, long trip,
Praying that their favourites can’t possibly let this slip,
After last Sunday’s sad debacle, the Boro players must now respond,
So, one hopes that Steve McClaren can somehow wave his magic wand.
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Brad Jones soon saved the Boro after Boateng lost possession,
And Luciano got a great shot in and showed some real aggression,
It was then volleyed clear by Riggott, much to everyone’s relief,
But the hosts have threatened early and they’re showing great belief.
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Maccarone took on the fullback, then got the ball across,
To win the Boro’s third corner, which must have pleased the boss,
It’s a good start by the Boro with big men advancing at the double,
But the corner was so poor and caused their ‘keeper little trouble.
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Only Doriva’s timely tackle kept the Xanthi men at bay,
As Labriakos tricked Xavier and then got his shot away,
The Boro man was out of it after having been outstripped,
But very early in the move, Doriva read the script.
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Emerson made a cross-field pass, to which Pogatetz responded,
It then ran to Luciano but a definite chance was squandered,
With better options open, the final choice he made was wrong,
And it was always going wide, as ‘keeper Jones knew, all along.
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A great cross-field ball from Southgate brought in young Morrison, most bold,
And his following contribution was a great joy to behold,
He then picked out Xavier, who played it square, out to Doriva,
Although he shot just inches wide, he’s been a proper, busy beaver.
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Luciano brought great danger in their best move hitherto,
With Emerson, well inside our box, defenders just withdrew,
Thankfully, he struggled to get the ball under control,
Then up popped Captain Gareth to save an almost certain goal.
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It’s now time for the Boro to create their best chance yet,
Wonderful control by Hasselbaink brought about the first real threat,
He then left it to Maccarone to apply the final touch,
But he narrowly missed, then mouthed the phrase, “I’m sorry, my old Dutch!”
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Once more the impressive Morrison had the fans so overjoyed,
As he put a wondrous ball into the path of Jimmy Floyd,
He then unleashed a rocket, when roughly thirty yards out,
But Pizanowski showed he was ‘prepared,’ like any real Boy Scout.
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Right now it is the Boro who are posing all the questions,
And if there’s anyone better than Morrison then I’m open to suggestions,
He sent one more terrific ball to Jimmy, who then found Macca,
And he went on to find the net: it really was a cracker.
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But the linesman saw it differently and ‘offside’ was his decision,
As a hundred travelling Boro fans, as one, howled their derision,
With the help of television, it was very clear to see,
And Boro were left fuming as Xanthi turned away in glee.
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It was a very solid first half, professional and compact,
And McClaren will be delighted that our goal remains intact,
We were certainly unlucky when the ‘goal’ was ruled offside,
But, all in all, the Boro can be more than satisfied.
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Midfielder Torosides gives way, and the new man on the park is,
A further Xanthi striker and I believe his name’s Kazakis,
Before the opening whistle had died away and the half had barely started,
Queudrue fouls Labriakos and he’s instantly yellow-carded.
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Xanthi, it now appears, are playing into Boro’s hands,
With their poor distribution and not playing to their plans,
They then take off Andrade and Leonardo is the switch,
So, will they now fare better with another Brazilian on the pitch?
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Things don’t work out for Xanthi so they play their final card,
With another substitution, now they’re looking battle-scarred,
Then Boro ring the changes, which the referee postpones,
Whilst – for wasting too much time – he suddenly takes the name of Jones.
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JFH and Macca give way to Nemeth and big Yak,
For this tie’s now lost for Xanthi, who have no way of coming back,
Then, just a short time later, and without further ado,
Parnaby gets a run-out, now he’s on for Franck Queudrue.
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Pogatetz did really well when Luciano got behind,
He’s performed superbly in the role, to which he was assigned,
Despite defeat, the local fans have shouted themselves hoarse,
And they drift away, believing their Xanthi team’s now a spent force.
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There was a little scare for Boro with a shot cleared of the line,
From former idol, Emerson, who is the Skoda Xanthi spine,
Then came the final stages with a little Xanthi flurry,
There’d been few alarms for Boro and they’d had no cause for worry.
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Totally priceless proved the two goals, scored at the Riverside,
But Boro had worked hard again and could hold their heads with pride,
They’re through to the Group Stages, which was always their mission,
Their task is now completed: they’ve accomplished their ambition.