Klasnic nicks winning goal before seeing red

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Klasnic nicks winning goal before seeing red


Bolton Wanderers’ Ivan Klasnic, center facing, has an altercation with Stoke City’s Dean Whitehead, No. 18, as a referee tries to intervene during the two teams’ English Premier League match at Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England, on Oct. 16. [AP/YONHAP]

BOLTON, England - Bolton striker Ivan Klasnic nicked a late goal to clinch a 2-1 win over Stoke City and then got ejected in a dramatic finish at Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Owen Coyle’s side looked likely to be held to a draw when Stoke’s Rory Delap ended a 21-month goal drought in the second half to cancel out Korean winger Lee Chung-yong’s first-half opener. But substitute Klasnic buried the winner in the final moments before being dismissed for two bookable offences soon after his first goal in the league this season.

It was a chaotic finish to a game that also saw rival fans clash in one corner of the stadium before police and stewards intervened. Stoke looked a side on the rise after a run of three wins and a draw from their previous four league matches and they should have taken the lead when Matthew Etherington shot straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen with only the Bolton goalkeeper to beat.

Bolton made them pay as Lee opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. After playing a one-two with skipper Kevin Davies, Lee was lucky to see a follow-up attempted pass ricochet into his path.

The Korean needed no second invitation as he quickly pounced on the loose ball to stab his first goal of the season past Thomas Sorensen.

Stoke were almost level just after the half-hour. After referee Peter Walton ignored furious penalty appeals from Stoke as a loose ball rolled over Zat Knight’s arm, Bolton wasted a chance to increase their lead.

Sorensen initially produced a superb one-handed save in turning aside a rasping drive from Martin Petrov. From the ensuing corner to the far post, Davies missed a sitter as he steered a header wide when the ball should have been nestling in the bottom corner of the net.

It proved costly because within three minutes of the restart Stoke were level. From Etherington’s corner, Robert Huth’s knockdown arrived at the feet of Delap, who volleyed home from five yards. Kenwyne Jones and Jon Walters then combined to set up Stoke midfielder Dean Whitehead for a first-time effort that Jaaskelainen saved with his legs.

Klasnic came on in the 77th minute and pounced to steal the points with a cool finish before the Croatian saw red after an altercation with Whitehead and a foul on Huth. AFP
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