Bulgarian side PFC Litex Lovech gained the biggest win of the UEFA Cup second qualifying round second legs, while former European champions FC Steaua Bucuresti survived a scare to enter tomorrow's first round draw.
Stoitcho Mladenov's Litex had won 1-0 a fortnight ago in Sarajevo against NK Željeznicar, but tonight in Bulgaria the Bosnia-Herzegovnian side fell to a 7-0 defeat. Joãozinho scored twice in the first seven minutes, and Tiago Dos Santos increased the lead soon after. Joãozinho's hat-trick was complete in the 36th minute and Mourad Hidiouad added a fifth before the break. Dimtcho Beliakov claimed further goals on 73 and 77 minutes.
Steaua, who lifted the European Champions Clubs' Cup in 1986, saw off FK Železnik, but only went through 5-4 on aggregate after losing 2-1 at home tonight. Their coach Walter Zenga decided to rest five players with his side having won 4-2 in Belgrade, and Železnik took advantage as Darko Drinic scored in the tenth minute. Drinic was sent off early in the second half, but his side scored again 15 minutes from time through Gefferson Da Silva, only for Constantin Dica - one of the rested players brought on a substitute - to swiftly strike for Steaua and ease their passage.
FK Austria Wien are another familiar name through. Having drawn 0-0 in Ukraine a fortnight ago against European debutants FC Illychivets Mariupil, Austria won 3-0 tonight to progress. Libor Sionko scored just after the half-hour, and Ivica Vastic doubled the lead on 59 minutes before adding a penalty to eliminate the Fair Play draw entrants. FC Metalurh Donetsk did maintain Ukrainian pride, though, prevailing 2-1 in Moldova against FC Tiraspol to triumph 5-1 on aggregate.
Hungarian sides suffered mixed fortunes. Újpesti TE scored twice late in Switzerland against Servette FC to win 2-0 on the night and 5-1 overall, but Budapest Honvéd FC are out. Trailing Poland's KS Amica Wronki 1-0 ahead of their home return, Honvéd matched that score over 90 minutes thanks to Zoltán Takács's goal just after half-time. However, when extra time could not settle the tie, the visitors prevailed 5-4 on penalties.
Joining compatriots Servette in exiting the competition are Swiss second-flight side FC Wil 1900, who could only draw 1-1 at home against Slovakian visitors FK Dukla Banská Bystrica, having lost the first leg 3-1. Wil's league rivals FC Vaduz, in this competition as Liechtenstein Cup holders, are also out, defeated 2-1 in Belgium by KSK Beveren, who completed a 5-2 aggregate victory.
Sweden had a happy night with both Hammarby and IF Elfsborg advancing to the first round after winning their second legs 2-1 to build on leads picked up a fortnight ago. Hammarby eliminated ÍA Akranes in Iceland, taking the overall score to 4-1, while Elfsborg were already 1-0 up from their away leg in Northern Ireland against Glentoran FC before tonight’s triumph.
AaB avert defeat
Aalborg BK coach Eric Hamrén had had less than two days to prepare for Lithuanian visitors FK Žalgiris Vilnius after a Danish players' strike was called off, and opted for cautious tactics that paid off with a 0-0 draw, ensuring a 3-1 aggregate win.
Maribor make mark
Slovenian Cup holders NK Maribor needed away goals to beat FK Buducnost Banatski Dvor, their 2-1 win in Serbia and Montenegro two weeks ago allowing them to withstand a 1-0 home defeat in the return. Czech side SK Sigma Olomouc progressed in comfort, though, overcoming Moldova’s FC Nistru Otaci 4-0 at home tonight and 6-1 overall.
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