The official website for European football

Pyunik prove too strong

Published: Wednesday 14 July 2004, 0.15CET
FK Pobeda 1-3 FC Pyunik Armenia's title-holders are on the verge of the second qualifying round after a fine win.
Published: Wednesday 14 July 2004, 0.15CET

Pyunik prove too strong

FK Pobeda 1-3 FC Pyunik Armenia's title-holders are on the verge of the second qualifying round after a fine win.

By Igor Panevski at the Gradski stadium

Armenian champions FC Pyunik have one foot in the second qualifying round of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League after a convincing 3-1 victory in Skopje tonight against FK Pobeda of F.Y.R Macedonia.

Aleksanyan dismissed
Edgar Manucharyan was the hero for the visiting side, scoring twice and making his side's other goal for Zhora Hovhannisyan. All of this came in the first half but the last action of note in the opening 45 minutes was the dismissal of Pyunik's Karen Aleksanyan. Pobeda were able to pull one back in the second half but their chances of progression after the return in Yerevan a week on Wednesday look slim.

Quickfire start
The 17-year-old Manucharyan looked lively from the opening whistle at the Gradski stadium. He was nearly on target in the third minute only for Pobeda goalkeeper Tome Pandev to save what seemed a certain goal. However, the striker was not to be denied and scored his first 12 minutes later. A long pass from Aghvan Mkrtchyan set Manucharyan clear and he made no mistake.

Gešoski lift
Much to the relief of the 3,000 home fans, Pobeda found their range in the 20th minute with Blagoja Gešoski firing just wide from 16 metres. However, the hosts found themselves two behind in the 26th minute, Manucharyan turning provider for Hovhannisyan to put Pyunik in command. With five minutes left in the half, Manucharyan added his second after a defensive mix-up and Pobeda were seemingly on their way out of the competition before it had barely started.

Shakhtar waiting
However, a second yellow card for Aleksanyan two minutes later gave Pobeda a lifeline. Yet, despite their man advantage for the entire second half, the Macedonian title-holders struggled to find a way back into the contest and it took until the 81st minute for Gešoski to capitalise on a defensive error and score a consolation for his side. With a two-goal deficit and a trip to Armenia to come, Pobeda have their work cut out and Pyunik are well on course to face FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the second qualifying round.

Last updated: 14/07/04 10.23CET

Related information

Team profiles
Related match
  • SSI Err

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=207311.html#pyunik+prove+strong

UEFA.com features

Who are SC Paderborn?
  • Who are SC Paderborn?
  • Pick of the week: matchday one
  • What teams need to get through
  • Watch the five best acrobatic Champions League goals
  • Ones to watch in the group stage
  • Masterclass: Xavi on passing and control
  • Newcomers ready for Champions League debuts
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Berezovski and Frick join Europe's 40-somethings
  • Europe's all-time top international goalscorers
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.