Former European champions FC Steaua Bucuresti were among several teams to pick up useful results in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round on Thursday night.
Steaua, who lifted the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1986, claimed a 4-2 win against FK Železnik at Belgrade's FK Partizan stadium. The Romanian visitors, playing their 159th game in European competition against a side making their continental debut, were 3-0 up inside 34 minutes, Daniel Oprita, Adrian Neaga and Ion Paraschiv all finding the target.
But after Neaga increased Steaua's lead five minutes into the second half, Železnik found their feet. Darko Drinic headed the home side back into the game on 67 minutes and four minutes from time Gefferson Da Silva gave the Serbo-Montenegrin side hope ahead of the return, which like all the second legs is scheduled for 26 August.
Two Bulgarian sides gained victories against Bosnia-Herzegovnian opposition. PFC Litex Lovech came from behind to win 2-1 at FK Željeznicar. The home side were dominant early on, but did not go ahead until just after the hour through Arben Avdija. However Mourad Hidiouad swiftly headed an equaliser, and not long after Joao Soares De Almeida put Litex in front.
Meanwhile, PFC Levski Sofia recorded a 5-0 home win against FK Modrica. Stanislav Angelov's fifth-minute opener was added to six minutes later by striker Georgi Chilikov. And after Modrica's Gvozden Zelincevic was dismissed on 73 minutes, Chilikov took just six minutes to compete his hat-trick against another side making their first European appearance. Angelov completed the scoring late on.
There are useful 3-0 leads for two Ukrainian sides. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk gained victory in Slovakia at FC Artmedia Bratislava, and Moldovan side FC Tiraspol lost at FC Metalurh Donetsk, for who Yaya Ture opened the scoring and Ilija Stolica added two more goals in the final 15 minutes.
The other Ukrainian team in action, Fair Play entrants FC Illychivets Mariupil, were not victorious but gained a creditable 0-0 draw at home to FK Austria Wien to keep up their record of not having conceded a goal in their debut European campaign. Also goalless was Brøndby IF's trip to FK Ventspils.
Ventspils' fellow Latvian club FHK Liepajas Metalurgs also drew at Swedish Fair Play entrants Östers IF. Rär Cederquist gave Öster a 20th-minute lead, but Aleksandr Katasonov equalised before the break. Cederquist seemed to have clinched victory three minutes from time, only for Viktors Dobrecovs to level in the dying seconds.
Occean bolsters Odd
Norway's two representatives gained 3-1 wins. Odd Grenland gained their first European victory at home to Lithuania's FK Ekranas. Povilas Luksys had given the visitors a half-time lead, but in a 17-minute spell in the second period Olivier Occean scored twice, either side of an Anders Rambekk goal.
Stabæk IF picked up their triumph against FC Haka of Finland. Valeri Popovich gave visitors Haka a 49th-minute advantage, but within four minutes Veigar Páll Gunnarsson and Erik Markegard had put the home side ahead, and although Stabæk's Martin Andresen was sent off for a second booking 18 minutes from the end, Inge Olsen added a third in injury time.
Swiss second-flight side FC Will 1900 went ahead 72 minutes into their match at Slovakian side FK Dukla Banská Bystrica, but ended up losing 3-1 after two goals from Robert Semenik - the latter a penalty for which Damir Dzombic was dismissed for a professional foul - and an added-time Martin Jakubko effort. SK Sigma Olomouc also came from behind to win, beating hosts FC Nistru Otaci 2-1.
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