Friedel Leads Blackburn to its First Major Cup Final in 42 Years
Brad Friedel helped push Blackburn into their first major Cup final in 42 years, as Rovers walloped Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 on Tuesday to win their Worthington Cup semifinal 6-3 on aggregate.
Goals two minutes apart from Matt Jansen (35th minute) and Damien Duff (37th minute) gave Rovers a comfortable lead and hlped Blackburn to the final. Blackburn won the first semifinal leg 2-1 at Hillsborough.
Blackburn will face Tottenham in Worthington Cup final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on February 24. Tottenham, Kasey's Keller club, hammered Chelsea 5-1 in the second leg of their semifinal against Chelsea to go through to the final with a 6-3 aggregate scoreline. The Worthington Cup winner receives an automatic spot in next season's UEFA Cup.
Friedel has played in five of Blackburn's six Worthington Cup matches, posting three shutouts and not allowing a goal until the semifinal round.
Blackburn has played only two Premiership teams in the competition thus far, topping Middlesborough 2-1 (the only Cup match Friedel did not play in) and hammering Arsenal 4-0 on Dec. 11.
Tottenham and Blackburn met each other on January 1, and Keller and Friedel manned the goals in the first-ever meeting between two U.S. goalkeepers in the English Premier League. Keller earned the shutout and Tottenham grabbed the win on a 1-0 scoreline at White Hart Lane.