Sanneh helps Hertha in quest for success in European Champions League.(Wednesday, September 22, 1999) -- Hertha Berlin served notice last night it will not be counted out of Champions League group play with a surprising 2-1 home victory over English Premier League power Chelsea. American midfielder Tony Sanneh was a major factor in the match.
Two minutes into his first start of the season for Hertha, Sanneh brought the ball quickly down the flank and saw his perfectly placed cross headed home by Hertha's Iranian striker Ali Daei from eight yards. Daei then added a second goal in the 70th minute.
Chelsea could only manage a penalty kick from Frank Leboeuf in the 86th minute.
Hertha, with a win and a draw, now sits tied with AC Milan in Group H. Between league matches and Champions League contests, many European clubs such as Hertha are now playing two or even three matches a week. That means they have to make full use of their benches so players like Sanneh and Daei now find themselves in starting roles.
Actually Sanneh's performance might move him back into the starting side, especially since Hertha has lost starting midfielder Rene Tretschok for as long as six-to-eight weeks.
In other Champions League action on last night, Glasgow Rangers and Claudio Reyna were only a minute away from a major victory over Bayern Munich when they conceded a goal on a deflected free kick and had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Jorg Albertz had put Rangers ahead in the 22nd minute on a play started by Reyna, a tireless worker all night. But in the 89th minute, Bayern's Michael Tarna saw his free kick glanced off the shoulder of Roque Santa Cruz and go into the net.
Last week Rangers lost a Champions League match on an own goal in the final minutes. So their 0-1-1 record finds them at the bottom of Group F, trailing Valencia and Bayern by three points and Dutch side PSV by one. They now face back to back matches against PSV and need to take at least four points from the two matches or else see themselves fall out of contention.
At Leverkusen, Frankie Hedjuk was penciled in as the starting right back in Bayer's Champions League match against Maribo. But he was a late scratch in favor of Boris Zivkovic who broke open a scoreless tie in the 82d minute. Leverkusen added a second tally in injury time and went on to win 2-0.