UEFA Cup holders PFC CSKA Moskva are through to the group stage but last season's runners-up Sporting Clube de Portugal were eliminated in dramatic fashion and Israel's Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC earned a sensational result at FK Partizan in the second legs of their first-round ties tonight.
FC Midtjylland 1-3 PFC CSKA Moskva (agg: 2-6)
The holders matched their first-leg victory to end any hopes the Danish side had of a comeback. They took a 14th-minute lead on the night as David Nielsen turned in Rasmus Hansen's cross. It was still 1-0 on the night just past the hour, but then Daniel Carvalho found the target after being set up by Alexei Berezutsky. A two-goal burst in the 77th-minute from Sergei Samodin and Carvalho - the latter from another Berezutsky cross - allowed the CSKA celebrations to begin in earnest.
Sporting Clube de Portugal 2-3 Halmstads BK (agg: 4-4 aet, Halmstad win on away goals)
Gunnar Heidar Thorvaldsson gave the Swedish visitors the lead on the night in Lisbon. Wender struck in the 34th minute but in added time Dusan Djuric's free-kick was turned in by visiting defender Tomas Zvirgzdauskas to force the extra half-hour. Towards the end of the first period Zvirgzdauskas put the ball into his own net under pressure from Wender, but with seven minutes left Patrik Ingelsten secured one of the great results in Halmstad's eleven European campaigns, which have also included an aggregate victory against SL Benfica in this competition five years ago plus one day.
FK Partizan 2-5 Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC (agg: 4-5)
Omer Golan's hat-trick was the key as the Israeli visitors stunned the Serbo-Montenegrin champions in Belgrade. Having won 2-0 a fortnight ago, Partizan were favourites tonight, but with only three minutes gone Asaf Mashiach gave the visitors hope from the spot. A Srdjan Radonjić penalty nine minutes later temporarily settled Partizan nerves, but Golan claimed his first on 20 minutes and although Radonjić was again on target in the 41st minute, the Petach-Tikva striker struck another just before half-time. The second period was only three minutes old when Golan completed his treble. Trailing on away goals, Partizan had to score, but instead the game was settled three minutes from time when Marko Lomić turned the ball into his own net, completing a comeback for Petach-Tikva as memorable as when, on their UEFA Cup debut, they turned a 3-0 first-leg deficit into a 4-3 aggregate win against AEK Larnaca FC last season.
Aris Thessaloniki FC 0-0 AS Roma (agg: 1-5)
Having won 5-1 in the first leg, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti chose to rest several players and gained a draw in Greece, with stand-in goalkeeper Alexander Doni keeping a clean sheet.
Anorthosis Famagusta FC 0-4 US Città di Palermo (agg: 1-6)
Palermo completed their first European win in style as a narrow 2-1 first-leg lead was turned into a comfortable overall victory in Nicosia. Andrea Caraccioli took only five minutes to open the scoring in Cyprus and Stephen Makinwa doubled the lead just after half-time. On 53 minutes Mario Alberto Santana gave the visitors a further boost and Makinwa struck Palermo's fourth midway through the half.
Everton FC 1-0 FC Dinamo Bucuresti (agg: 2-5)
It was always to be a tough task for Everton having lost 5-1 in Romania. Tim Cahill gave them hope with a 28th-minute goal but ten minutes later he had an effort ruled out for a foul on Dinamo goalkeeper Uladzimir Hayeu and Dinamo held out. Home midfield player Mikel Arteta left the pitch on a stretcher in added time.
PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1936 1-2 Bolton Wanderers FC (agg: 2-4)
Just as in the first leg, English competition debutants Bolton claimed two late goals after falling behind on the night. The Bulgarian side edged in front on away goals early in the second half thanks to Georgi Iliev's volley, but with ten minutes left Bolton moved back ahead in the tie in bizarre circumstances as Henrik Pedersen's cross was deflected in off unfortunate home defender Aleksandar Tunchev. Three minutes from time an opportunist Kevin Nolan strike confirmed Bolton's progress.
Skoda Xanthi FC 0-0 Middlesbrough FC (agg: 0-2)
There were few chances at either end in Greece, though Szilárd Nemeth did have to clear off the line from former Middlesbrough player Emerson in the last four minutes as the visitors secured a second consecutive group stage berth.
RC Strasbourg 5-0 Grazer AK (agg: 7-0)
Strasbourg claimed a comfortable win against GAK, who reached the last 32 in 2004/05. Karim Haggui took six minutes to claim the French side's first of the night, turning in Alexander Farnerud's cross, and five minutes before the break the Swedish midfield player claimed a goal of his own, heading Strasbourg's fourth of the tie. The elder Farnerud brother, Pontus, emulated his sibling early in the second half, shooting in from outside the box, and further goals arrived from Ulrich Le Pen and Rabo Hosni.
Willem II 1-3 AS Monaco FC (agg: 1-5)
Monaco's Maicon claimed the away goal that effectively ended the tie three minutes into the second half, heading in Camel Meriem's corner. Seven minutes later, Olivier Kapo set up Emmanuel Adebayor and he lifted the ball over Willem II goalkeeper Oscar Moens to double Monaco's lead. Anouar Hadouir volleyed the Tilburg's side only goal of the competition with six minutes left but although Willem II pressed for an equaliser on the night, Javier Chevantón had the final word, scoring from outside the area after good work by Kapo.
SC Braga 1-1 FK Crvena Zvezda (agg: 1-1, Crvena Zvezda win on away goals)
Former European champions Crvena Zvezda went through in Portugal thanks to Milan Purović's tenth-minute away goal, a powerful shot into the top corner. Júnior headed in Rossato's free-kick five minutes later, but the Serbo-Montenegrin visitors prevailed.
KRC Genk 0-1 PFC Litex Lovech (agg: 2-3)
Litex were held 2-2 at home in the first leg but in Belgium they claimed the only goal as Sandrinho turned in Robert Popov's pass on 56 minutes. Mirsad Bešlija hit the post from 30 metres out for Genk in the 82nd minute.
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