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Big names made to work, Jeunesse Esch impress

Published: Friday 5 July 2013, 0.04CET
While Rosenborg BK and Videoton FC had to come from behind to record narrow wins, Luxembourg's AS Jeunesse Esch managed perhaps the most eye-catching first-leg result.

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Published: Friday 5 July 2013, 0.04CET

Big names made to work, Jeunesse Esch impress

While Rosenborg BK and Videoton FC had to come from behind to record narrow wins, Luxembourg's AS Jeunesse Esch managed perhaps the most eye-catching first-leg result.

MŠK Žilina, Rosenborg BK and Videoton FC were among the clubs to register victories as the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round began in earnest on what was a night to remember for two of Luxembourg's three entrants.

All of Thursday's first-leg results can be viewed here.

Rosenborg, who have competed in the UEFA Champions League group stage 11 times in the last 18 years, needed to call on all of their continental experience to defeat Crusaders FC 2-1. If the Northern Irish team were sensing a famous win when Jordan Owens broke the deadlock, their dreams of travelling to Trondheim on level terms next week were dashed by Jonas Svensson's 77th-minute strike.

Videoton, group stage participants last term, were also made to sweat, coming from behind to beat Montenegrin debutants FK Mladost Podgorica by the same scoreline in Hungary. Žilina, however, enjoyed a more serene evening, triumphing 3-0 at FC Torpedo Kutaisi.

AS Jeunesse Esch's 2-0 home success against TPS Turku – sealed by goals from defender Khalid Benichou and former FC Metz academy player Chu Wang – was among the standout results on a night when 66 teams took their first steps on the long road to Turin, venue for this season's final.

The Luxembourger Cup holders, whose last continental victory was nine years ago, are in strong position to progress through a UEFA tie for the first time since they overcame another Finnish team, FC Haka, in the 1963/64 European Champion Clubs' Cup preliminary round.

There was cause to celebrate for another side from the Grand Duchy, FC Differdange 03, but not so for F91 Dudelange. While the former prevailed 1-0 away to Albania's KF Laçi, Dudelange, who 12 months ago eliminated FC Salzburg en route to the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, succumbed in Moldova to a lone goal from FC Milsami Orhei debutant Gheorghe Andronic.

Breidablik recorded the biggest first-leg triumph, putting four without reply past visitors FC Santa Coloma, while hosts Drogheda United FC held 1979 European Cup runners-up Malmö FF to a goalless draw despite playing the final 14 minutes with ten men following the dismissal of midfielder Ryan Brennan.

Last updated: 04/12/13 4.15CET

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