Stabæk IF hold the advantage ahead of next Tuesday's return in Norway after collecting a 1-1 draw at Albanian champions KF Tirana in their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round opener.
The Eliteserien side could even have celebrated an away victory after taking the lead through Daigo Kobayashi with 34 minutes gone but they were pegged back five minutes after the interval when Devis Mukaj found the target. Neither team was able to add to their tally after that and the tie remains poised for further intrigue next week.
The host's Croatian coach Ilija Lončarević had expressed concern that Stabæk would be in better shape as they are midway through the Norwegian season, and it certainly appeared as if the visitors started the sharpest of the two when Kobayashi registered from inside the area. Tirana eventually found their feet, however, and had their captain to thank for bringing them back into the tie from close range. "It's a good result," said Stabæk coach Jan Jönsson afterwards. "We scored a goal which is very positive ahead of the next match."