Former European club competition winners Parma FC, S.S. Lazio, SL Benfica and Feyenoord will be among the 40 teams in Tuesday's UEFA Cup group stage draw after completing first-round triumphs.
Parma, who won this trophy twice in the 1990s, faced one of the toughest tasks as they travelled to NK Maribor holding a slender 3-2 advantage. But the visitors kept their nerve in Slovenia to play out the game goalless and move through.
Their Serie A rivals Lazio progressed more comfortably at home against FC Metalurh Donetsk. Having won 3-0 in Ukraine two weeks ago, Lazio matched that scoreline tonight, Fabio Liverani claiming two goals either side of a Roberto Muzzi effort, all in the first 25 minutes. But there was no Italian clean sweep, as Udinese Calcio suffered a second successive first-round exit, substitute Alberto's 82nd-minute goal at home against Panionios NFC too late to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the opening leg in Greece.
For Spanish sides, though, it was celebrations all round. Not only did Sevilla FC and Real Zaragoza progress, but Athletic Club Bilbao and Villarreal CF also went through. Athletic were 3-2 down to Turkey's Trabzonspor when they kicked off the second leg on home territory, but within five minutes Santiago Ezquerro had struck for the Basque side and just after the hour Francisco Yeste gave them a decisive 4-3 overall lead.
Villarreal reached last season's semi-finals after winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup, and having once again found success in the summer competition, continued their progress with a
3-0 home win against Sweden's Hammarby, completing a
5-1 aggregate victory. By the time visiting goalkeeper Ante Covic was dismissed on the hour mark, Villarreal had already scored through Antonio Guayre and Hector Font, and teenager Santiago Cazorla added a third in the 86th minute.
Two sides that have lifted the European Champion Clubs' Cup progressed with ease. SL Benfica turned a 3-0 first-leg lead into a 5-0 aggregate triumph against FK Dukla Banská Bystrica, Zlatko Zahovic and Nuno Gomes scoring in the first 17 minutes. Feyenoord, meanwhile, led 1-0 prior to their home leg against Norway's Odd Grenland, and picked up a 4-1 victory to seal their passage.
Utrecht hold on
Joining Feyenoord in the group stage are Eredivisie rivals FC Utrecht - but they were grateful for their 4-0 first-leg win against Djurgårdens IF, as the 2003 Swedish champions scored three goals without reply on home soil. Andreas Johansson's third-minute goal was added to twice by Tobias Hysén, but their side fell agonisingly short.
Other familiar names in the next round are Club Brugge KV and AEK Athens FC. Brugge's 4-0 first-leg lead against French second-flight side LB Châteauroux was never in danger, but Kamel Chafni did claim the home team's first European goal as the Belgian visitors won 2-1 tonight. AEK have shrugged off summer turmoil to embark on their UEFA Cup run, and having drawn 1-1 in Slovenia against NK Gorica a fortnight ago, Alessandro Soares struck the only goal of the return in the final minute to send the Greek team through.
Middlesbrough march on
FC Basel 1893 have a fine recent European pedigree, and ended Russian second-level team FC Terek Grozny's debut continental campaign, as Julio Rossi and Kléber secured a 2-0 home win and 3-1 aggregate victory for the Swiss champions. English League Cup holders Middlesbrough FC did continue their competition bow, though, as despite ending with ten men they drew 1-1 at Czech champions FC Baník Ostrava and progressed 4-1 overall.
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