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Haka set up Scandinavian showdown

Published: Thursday 21 July 2005, 0.16CET
FC Pyunik 2-2 FC Haka (agg: 2-3) Haka concede twice in the first half-hour but recover to earn Vålerenga IF tie.
Published: Thursday 21 July 2005, 0.16CET

Haka set up Scandinavian showdown

FC Pyunik 2-2 FC Haka (agg: 2-3) Haka concede twice in the first half-hour but recover to earn Vålerenga IF tie.

Finnish champions FC Haka will face Norway's Vålerenga IF in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round after a two-goal comeback earned them a hard-fought aggregate victory against FC Pyunik in Armenia.

Double blow
Leading 1-0 through Juha Pasoja's solitary strike in the first leg last week, the visitors' advantage lasted just four minutes in the sweltering heat of Yerevan before Levon Pachajyan gave Pyunik the lead on the night. A doubt before the game, Mali striker Mamadou Diawara made it 2-0 on the half-hour as the home side took the initiative for the first time in the tie.

Two-goal comeback
Their celebrations were short-lived, however, as Jarno Mattila reduced the deficit just nine minutes later. The strike levelled the aggregate score but gave Haka the edge on the away-goals rule. Pyunik coach Henk Wisman was forced to throw caution to the wind after the break, but with his team pressing, Haka's South African defender Cheyne Fowler made it 2-2 on 63 minutes.

Revenge mission
There was no way back for the hosts thereafter and Haka held on to a 3-2 aggregate victory to set up a Scandinavian clash with Vålerenga. Olli Huttunen's side's only previous European encounter with Norwegian opposition came last summer at this same stage - when they lost both legs 3-1 to Stabæk IF. "We played two poor matches against Stabæk," striker Toni Lehtinen said. "We want to show the Norwegians we're a better team than they probably think."

Last updated: 20/07/05 21.20CET

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