HNK Hajduk Split, Rosenborg BK and FC Dinamo Bucuresti all picked up narrow leads from the first legs of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round ties while FBK Kaunus held Djurgårdens IF.
Hajduk played out a 3-2 win at home against Irish champions Shelbourne FC, but were made to work all the way. Shelbourne shocked their Croatian hosts on five minutes when Glen Fitzpatrick ran into the box to score. That goal woke up the home team, and within 13 minutes of the opener Nenad Pralija found Dragan Blatnjak in the area to equalise.
Hajduk edge ahead
Almir Turkovic had a header blocked on the line just before the break, but within three minutes of the interval Petar Šuto put Hajduk in front after being first to a blocked Turkovic shot. Jason Byrne hit the post for the visitors on 67 minutes, but his side fell further behind in the 85th minute when Blatnjak headed in Šuto's cross. However, Shelbourne had a sting in their tail, and Alan Moore's last-minute goal gave his side every chance in the return leg, which like all the second legs is scheduled for next Wednesday.
George relieves Rosenborg
Rosenborg, whose long residency in the group stage was interrupted last season, edged to a 2-1 win against Moldovan visitors FC Sheriff. Frode Johnsen shot Rosenborg into the lead midway through the first half but within ten minutes Razvan Cocis had equalised. It took until five minutes from the end for Christer George to restore the Norwegian champions' lead with a shot from an acute angle. Rosenborg face a tough task maintaining their advantage in Tiraspol.
Romanian champions Dinamo were the only away winners in the Champions League tonight, thanks to a dramatic 1-0 victory at Slovakian title-holders MŠK Žilina. It seemed the match would end goalless, but Ionel Daniel Danciulescu struck in the dying seconds to give Dinamo a priceless advantage.
Kaunas of Lithuania are perhaps the best placed of the ten first qualifying round survivors to progress after holding Swedish champions Djurgården. Kaunas, who previously eliminated Sliema Wanderers FC, will now look to make the most of home advantage next week and emulate the run of FK Vardar from the opening stage to the third qualifying round last season.
In other matches, FK Crvena Zvezda and AC Sparta Praha both scored two late goals to earn 2-2 draws at BSC Young Boys and APOEL FC respectively. Meanwhile, Club Brugge KV beat visitors FK Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2-0 and Trabzonspor equalised in the dying minutes to finish 1-1 at Skonto FC. Reports on those four games can be found on the right-hand links under 'related news'.
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