Duff comes on to make an impact


Fulham 3 Amkar Perm 1:FULHAM’S IMPRESSIVE start to the season faltered a little as Amkar grabbed a vital away goal. Roy Hodgson named his new signing Damien Duff on the bench. The 30-year-old should soon be joined by West Brom’s Jonathan Greening on a season’s loan.

Following an early Perm corner that caused disarray in the Fulham area, the ball broke to Clint Dempsey. The American played a slicing pass that released Bobby Zamora down the left and the striker curved a pass beyond the visitor’s defence. Andrew Johnson saw Sergey Narubin rushing out and a dinked a finish over the goalkeeper as he went down.

Perm, who finished fourth in the Russian Premier League but are 13th after 18 games of their season, were allowed back into proceedings as Fulham switched off. Georgy Peev had a spell in which he pivoted Amkar from central midfield, twisting Fulham with his passing and movement. Fulham’s sloppiness could be seen in Dickson Etuhu missing a first-touch, which allowed Nikolay Zhilayev to race down his left flank, and Paul Konchesky and Mark Schwarzer swapping possession too close to traffic.

Zamora and Johnson combined again with the ex-Everton man unlucky to see his shot scrambled away from close range. His partner also went close with a volley before the break.

Minutes into the restart, Konchesky’s casualness when chesting the ball in his area allowed Martin Kushev, Amkar’s captain and lone striker, to heat Schwarzer’s fingers with a shot.

Yet Fulham again proved a class above the Russians when Dempsey collected in midfield. His 25-yard drive came cleanly off his boot, removed Narubin as a factor, and that was the second.

Duff, coming on in the 75th minute, had an immediate impact. His cross came to Zamora who smashed it home. Vitaly Grishin’s late goal gave Perm a lifeline.

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Dempsey, Etuhu, Murphy, Gera, Andrew Johnson, Zamora. Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Nevland, Duff, Riise, Eddie Johnson.

Amkar Perm: Narubin, Sirakov, Gaal, Drincic, Belorukov, Peev, Cherenchikov, Novakovic, Zhilyaev, Jean Carlos, Kushev. Subs: Usminsky, Grishin, Telkiyski, Pomerko, Junuzovic, William, Kalashnikov.

Referee: P Oliveira Alves Garcia (Portugal)