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Good Night for German Clubs in UEFA Cup

German Bundesliga clubs Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin stayed on course for a place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Cup with good results from their group games.

Stuttgart's Mario Gomez, right, challenges for the ball with Belgrade's Srdja Knezevic during the UEFA Cup group C soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and Partizan Belgrade in Stuttgart, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008

Gomes, right, scored twice for Stuttgart

Wolfsburg had to come from behind to beat Dutch club Heerenveen 5-1 in the so-called Group of Death.

With AC Milan, Braga and Premier League side Portsmouth also in Group E, the German side went into the game knowing that they could not afford to lose at home.

Finnish midfielder Mika Vaeyrynen gave the visitors the lead just after the half hour, but Edin Dzeko equalized just three minutes later. Grafite gave his side the lead six minutes from the break.

Heerenveen's Gerald Sibon, right, controls the ball during the UEFA Cup group E soccer match between VfL Wolfsburg and SC Heerenveen in Wolfsburg, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008

Wolfsburg showed well with a 5-1 win over Heerenveen

In the second half, Wolfsburg proved far too strong for Heerenveen as Dzeko, Zvjezdan Misimovic and Jacek Krzynowek added three goals to give the Bundesliga side a convincing 5-1 victory in their first match in the group phase.

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath said that he had been impressed with his side's performance in the second half. "Heerenveen looked strong in the first half but we then took control in the second. It was a good game for my side."

Stuttgart bounces back

Stuttgart, who lost their first Group C game in Seville, bounced back with a 2-0 win against Partizan Belgrade.

Both goals for the home side were scored by Germany striker Mario Gomez late in the game.

Stuttgart coach Armin Veh said that even though they had only scored in the second half, they had dominated proceedings throughout. "We were the better side and had many chances. It was a good game from my team."

Gomez, who has now scored five goals in the UEFA Cup, said that the team was much better in the second half.

Hertha draws on positives

Another Bundesliga side, Hertha Berlin, managed to play to a goal-less draw at Metalist Kharkiv to move second in Group B with two points from their two matches.

Coelho, left, of Ukraine's FC Metalist Kharkiv, struggles for the ball with Josip Simunic of Hertha Berlin, during their Group B UEFA Cup in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday Nov. 6, 2008

Hertha Berlin played a goal-less draw

With the top three advancing from the five-team groups, Hertha coach Lucien Favre highlighted the positives from their draw. "I look at it this way: We won a point, rather than losing two."

He did, however, add that at times the last pass was missing from the team.

Berlin captain Arne Friedrich said that the team did well at the back. "But upfront we should have done more," he added.

There was a good win for Serie A club Udinese, who won 2-1 at Spartak Moscow to register their second win from two games and move to the top of Group D with six points.

Fabio Quagliarella scored twice for the Italian club.

AS Nancy and CSKA Moscow took control of Group H.

The Russian club won 3-1 at Feyenoord Rotterdam for their second victory from two games, while AC Nancy drew 2-2 at Polish club Lech Poznan to take them to four points. Poznan is third in the group with one point.

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