West Ham pegged back as Southampton down VitesseArchive
PARIS: West Ham United, who qualified for the Europa League due to their fair play record, had a player sent-off in a 2-2 draw with Astra Giurgiu on Thursday while crowd trouble shamed the tournament.
West Ham were 2-0 up on their Romanian visitors at Upton Park in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie thanks to goals from Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate.
But James Collins then became the Hammers’ third player to be sent off in five games under new coach Slaven Bilic and the Romanians took full advantage.
A rasping strike from Fernando Boldrin gave Astra a vital away goal and then levelled the tie when West Ham debutant Angelo Ogbonna put through his own goal eight minutes from time.
“We definitely played well in the first hour, but the game lasts 90 minutes and we had to react better to going down to ten men,” said Bilic who was also sent to the stands by the referee.
Southampton brushed aside Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem 3-0 thanks to goals from Italian Graziano Pelle, Serbian Dusan Tadic, from the penalty spot, and a late third from Shane Long.
The Saints’ manager Ronald Koeman is a former Vitesse coach while the win was the English side’s first in Europe in 34 years and sets them up nicely for the return leg of the third round qualifier in Arnhem.
“It’s always difficult because it’s always a risk,” said Koeman, admitting his players must guard against complacency. “It’s never over in football, but of course the final result is a very good one. In European football, to win the first game at home 3-0 is a great result.”
One of the big surprises of the evening took place in Italy where Sampdoria were taken apart 4-0 by Serbia’s Vojvodina which gives the Serie A side a mountain to climb in the return leg next week.
Sampdoria were playing in Turin as their ground in Genoa undergoes renovation work and the change did them no good at all as Mirko Ivanic, Aleksandar Stanisavljevic and Ognjen Ozegovic (two) steered their side to a shock win.
The defeat was Sampdoria’s heaviest European loss since 1962.
Borussia Dortmund began life without departed coach Jurgen Klopp with a 1-0 win away to Austrian outsiders Wolfsberger to give new boss Thomas Tuchel a winning competitive start. Jonas Hofmann scored the only goal in the 16th minute.
KUKESI-LEGIA ABANDONED AFTER VIOLENCE
Crowd trouble in Albania forced the tie between Kukesi and Legia Warsaw of Poland to be abandoned early in the second half with the visitors leading 2-1.
Legia’s Ondraj Duda appeared to be struck by a stone thrown from the crowd and was stretchered off with blood spattered on his shirt. Around 20 minutes after the incident, UEFA’s match delegate called the game off.
Aberdeen grabbed a crucial away goal at Kazakhstan’s Kairat Almaty despite a 2-1 defeat.
Aberdeen, who won the 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup under Alex Ferguson, were 2-0 down after just 20 minutes but Kenny McClean’s goal 20 minutes from time gave the Scottish side hope.
The journey for the Scottish side covered over 4,500 miles (7,240km) and crossed five time zones, and is believed to be the longest made by a team competing in any European competition.
Elsewhere, Javier Eraso hit a double of his own as Athletic Bilbao won 2-0 at home against Inter Baku, while AZ Alkmaar provided an Eredivisie success story as they overcame Basaksehir by the same score-line.
Ligue 1 duo Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux were 3-0 winners away at Tirgu Mures and at home to AEK Larnaca respectively.
Rubin Kazan completed a thrilling 3-2 win at Sturm Graz, with Igor Portnyagin scoring a 61st-minute winner after the Austrian side twice came from behind.
Three second-half goals gave Rosenborg victory at Debrecen by the same margin.
Elfsborg, SCR Altach, Slovan Liberec, Standard Liege and Belenenses were all 2-1 winners over Odd, Vitoria Guimaraes, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, Zeljeznicar Sarajevo and IFK Goteborg respectively.
There were 2-0 wins at home for FK Krasnodar over Slovan Bratislava, MSK Zilina against Vorskla Poltava and Hajduk Split over Stromsgodset.
Zorya Luhansk triumphed at Charleroi by the same score-line and Atromitos were 3-1 winners after a lengthy trip to AIK of Sweden.
PAOK Salonika and Rabotnicki won 1-0 at home to Spartak Trnava and Trabzonspor respectively, while Dinamo Minsk did likewise at FC Zurich.
The games between Thun and Vaduz and Brondby and Omonia Nicosia finished goalless, while Apollon Limassol and FK Qabala drew 1-1 ahead of next week’s second legs.
The winners of the third qualifying round ties will move into the play-offs before the start of the group stages.
Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2015
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