Esbjerg fB were the big winners in the early UEFA Cup first qualifying round second-leg ties - as they produced a superb performance in Estonia to eliminate FC Flora.
Having only come into the tournament via the Fair Play draw, EfB's campaign looked destined to be a short one when they were beaten 2-1 at home in Denmark a fortnight ago. But on 15 minutes tonight Jakob Poulsen struck for EfB and two minutes later Jan Kristiansen gave the visitors the aggregate advantage. Soon after Fredrik Berglund, who scored in added time in the first leg, extended the lead and before the break Hans Henrik Andreasen made it four on the night. Michaël Murcy found the target on 55 and 87 minutes for a 6-0 win to complete a 7-2 aggregate victory, taking EfB into Friday's second qualifying round draw.
The other Fair Play draw qualifiers, Germany's 1. FSV 05 Mainz, won 4-0 against FC MIKA in the first leg, thus ensuring a goalless result in Armenia was enough for them tonight. Automatic Fair Play entrants Viking FK were 2-1 ahead going into Northern Ireland's Portadown FC visit to Norway, and Nkosinathi Nhleko's 57th-minute goal made it 3-1 overall.
MIKA's compatriots FC Banants were also trailing from two weeks ago, having lost 3-2 at home to FC Lokomotiv Tbilisi. But they struck twice late on that day, which proved vital as they won 2-0 in Georgia to steal through. Aram Hakobyan, who claimed Banants opening first-leg goal, scored after 22 minutes before Ara Khachatryan claimed the aggregate winner only nine minutes from time.
Georgia's other representatives, FC Torpedo Kutaisi, are also out, having lost 5-0 in Belarus, and 6-0 on aggregate to FC BATE Borisov. Dmitri Molosh scored first and Aleksandr Lebedev and Dmitri Rubnenko both added two each before half-time. Also making full use of a first-leg lead were NK Domžale of Slovenia, who having already beaten SP Domagnano 5-0 in San Marino won 3-0 today. Juninho, Nikola Nikezic and Zoran Zeljkovic - from the spot - scored.
However, FC Vaduz will continue to fly the flag for another of Europe's smaller nations, Liechtenstein. A home 2-0 victory against tournament debutants FC Dacia Chisinau a fortnight ago proved vital, as the Moldovan side scored on 64 minutes through Vladimir Japalau but could not prevent Vaduz progressing past this round for the second year running.
Another Moldovan team in the form of FC Nistru Chisinau won 2-1 in Kazakhstan against FK Khazar Lenkoran today to complete a 5-2 aggregate victory. Catalin Lichioiu scored both goals for Nistru before half-time, and Samir Aliyev's 74th-minute consolation came 12 minutes after Miroslav Savic's penalty miss for the European newcomers.
Runaway Latvian leaders FHK Liepajas Metalurgs matched their 3-0 first-leg victory in the Faroe Islands against NSÍ Runavík with an identical scoreline tonight. Viktors Dobrecovs scored on five and 37 minutes and Oskars Klava made it three just four minutes before full time.
APOEL beat Birkirkara
It was a similar 6-0 aggregate margin for APOEL FC of Cyprus against Malta's Birkirkara FC. It was 2-0 at kick-off and two goals from Alexandros Kaklamanos and one each by Marios Neophytou and Stavros Georgiou extended that advantage.
Luxembourg's CS Pétange may be out after their first European fixture, but they secured an impressive 1-1 draw tonight against AC Allianssi, who had beaten them 3-0 in Finland. Dejan Kefert gave Pétange their inaugural European goal on 55 minutes but eight minutes later Jon Poulsen confirmed Allianssi's first aggregate UEFA Cup win.
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