FK Zeljeznicar 3-0 ÍA Akranes
FK Zeljeznicar beat Icelandic side ÍA Akranes 3-0 with two goals from striker Jure Guvo and another from Almir Gredic to launch their 2002/03 UEFA Champions League campaign with a bang - and move closer to a second qualifying round meeting with Lillestrøm SK.
Only five minutes in, after an inch-perfect pass from Gredic to captain Bulend Biscevic, Guvo opened the scoring from close range. For a short period ÍA got a grip on the game and made several attempts on goal, but Zeljeznicar's defence nonetheless held firm and thanks to quick reactions by Sead Seferovic in midfield, Almir Gredic doubled the Bosnia-Herzegovnian side's lead by netting in the 45th minute.
Zeljeznicar started the second half equally aggressively and on 56 minutes Dalibor Silic did well to keep the ball in play and divert it to Guvo, who netted his second from close range.
Trio of chances
The Sarajevo side had three more chances in the next ten minutes with Almir Cosic forcing ÍA goalkeeper Olafur Gunnarsson to divert the ball for a corner. Three minutes later, Silic provided Sergej Tica with a great opportunity only for him to hit into the side-netting. In the 68th minute Tica tried a cheeky lob from 20 metres out only to miss the target again.
After the game, Zeljeznicar coach Amar Osim said: "We did not create a lot of chances. We scored the goals fairly easily, which is not very usual for Zeljeznicar. We were definitely the better side. I think we have achieved a result which could pave our way into the second qualifying round. However nothing is settled yet."
Meanwhile, ÍA coach Olafur Thordarson promised his side would not give up ahead of next week's return leg. "This was a good match," he said. "We have conceded goals by our own mistakes. We would have maybe had a chance to endanger Zeljeznicar if we took at least one or two of our chances. I am expecting a quality match in Iceland because we will not give up in advance."
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