HJK Helsinki are celebrating one of the most emphatic wins in the history of the European Cup after putting ten goals past Bangor City FC without reply in their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round second leg.
The result doubled the Finnish champions' previous best result in Europe, a 5-0 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup victory over Faroese side B71 Sandoy in 1994, and also put them on the leaderboard for the biggest wins in Europe's top club competition. If they could not quite match FC Dinamo Bucureşti's 11-0 success against Crusaders FC from 1973, they are now one of only eight teams to have won by a ten-goal margin in the competition – and the first since the advent of the UEFA Champions League.
The last club to triumph by ten goals in UEFA competition had been Rayo Vallecano, who beat Andorra's Constellació Esportiva 10-0 in the UEFA Cup preliminary round on 10 August 2000.
On Tuesday it was HJK's turn. Leading 2-0 at half-time, they turned up the heat after the break to the delight of coach Antti Muurinen. "We played an excellent match," said the 57-year-old, who led the capital side to the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage in his first spell in charge, returning in 2007. "There were no doubts about our attitude and we started much better than in Wales [where they won 3-0]. Every player wanted to show his ability."
Former Crystal Palace FC midfielder Aki Riihilahti did not get on the scoresheet but contributed to a fine performance. "There was an excellent atmosphere in the stands and it got through to the players," explained the 34-year-old. "We decided at half-time that we would just go out to enjoy the rest of the match and play for the crowd to reward their support."
Erfan Zeneli and Teemu Pukki got two goals each along with debutant Kastriot Kastrati, who came off the bench to hit the seventh and tenth of the night. The 18-year-old had scored 16 goals in 11 games for HJK's reserve team, Klubi04, in Finland's third division but was thrilled just to have the chance to play. "Wen I heard I was going on, my first thought was to play for the team," he said. "The team comes first and as a goalscorer I try to help by scoring goals.
"Today it all went perfectly," he added, overwhelmed by the magnitude of his achievement on such a stage. "My dream came true, what else can I say? This is the Champions League, after all." Alexander Ring, Berat Sadik, Rafinha and Jarno Parikka were also on target at the Finnair Stadium.
HJK will look to continue their daunting form against Croatian champions NK Dinamo Zagreb in the third qualifying round, though Muurinen does not expect another goal feast. "We have a side that can cause Dinamo problems," he said. "I know they have quality players but there is always the chance of a surprise. We've made it the group stage once and we hope to do it again." Riihilahti concluded: "We'll be humble but full of confidence. We have a chance yet it requires us to play two perfect matches. We've played well lately and we are hungry."
Most emphatic wins in UEFA Champions League/European Champion Clubs' Cup history
11-0: FC Dinamo Bucureşti v Crusaders FC
03/10/73, first round second leg
10-0: Manchester United FC v RSC Anderlecht
26/09/56, preliminary round first leg
10-0: Ipswich Town FC v Floriana FC
25/09/62, first round second leg
10-0: SL Benfica v CS Stade Dudelange
05/10/65, first round second leg
2-12: KR Reykjavík v Feyenoord (both legs played in Rotterdam)
17/09/69, first round first leg
10-0: Leeds United AFC v FK Lyn
17/09/69, first round first leg
10-0: VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach v Enosis Pezoporikou Amol FC
22/09/70, first round second leg
10-0: AFC Ajax v AC Omonia
24/10/79, second round first leg
10-0: HJK Helsinki v Bangor City FC
18/07/11, second qualifying round second leg
Most emphatic wins in UEFA club competition history
16-1: Sporting Clube de Portugal v APOEL FC
13/11/63, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round first leg
14-0: AFC Ajax v Red Boys Differdange
03/10/84, UEFA Cup first round
13-0: Chelsea FC v AS Jeunesse Hautcharage
29/09/71, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round second leg
0-12: US Rumelange v Feyenoord
27/09/72, UEFA Cup first round second leg
12-0: Swansea City FC v Sliema Wanderers FC
15/09/82, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round first leg
12-0: Derby County FC v Finn Harps FC
15/09/76, UEFA Cup first round first leg
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