Cork City FC, AFC Rapid Bucuresti and Keflavík all picked up convincing away wins in the opening set of UEFA Cup first qualifying round first-leg ties.
Irish team Cork gained their success against FK Ekranas of Lithuania. Roy O'Donovan's 25th-minute opener was added to by John O'Callaghan in the final minute. Cork will now hope to earn their place in the second qualifying round when the returns are played a fortnight today.
Rapid, meanwhile, were in Andorra to meet tournament debutants UE Sant Julià, and Daniel Niculae put them ahead within ten minutes before scoring again just after the half-hour. Ciprian Vasilache made it three just prior to the hour mark before Niculae completed a hat-trick in the 66th minute. Vasilache claimed his second eleven minutes later to wrap up a 5-0 success.
The two Albanian sides in home action watched by capacity crowds had mixed results. KS Teuta, who had previously lost all six of their UEFA Cup fixtures, broke that duck by defeating NK Široki Brijeg 3-1. Bledar Mancaku and Daniel Xhafaj struck before half-time and Xhafaj made it three on 63 minutes before Domagoj Abramovic's late away goal gave the Bosnia-Herzegovnian side hope.
Vardar hold Elbasani
Although Teuta's domestic rivals KS Elbasani went ahead through Klevis Dalipi 31 minutes into their UEFA Cup bow against FK Vardar, teenager Ivan Trickovski equalised for the representatives from F.Y.R. Macedonia midway through the second half.
Azerbaijan's entrants also experienced contrasting results. FK Baku, who had lost both their previous UEFA Cup fixtures, had a 79th-minute Djeikhun Sultanov goal to thank for a 1-0 home win against Slovakia's MŠK Žilina. FK Khazar Lenkoran, on the other hand, lost their first European game 3-1 in Moldova against FC Nistru Otaci. The score was 1-1 at half-time but Andrei Matiura and Alexandr Blajco struck in the last 22 minutes to give Nistru the edge.
Allianssi break duck
Keflavík and AC Allianssi both gained excellent results against Luxembourgeois opposition. Keflavík, of Iceland, won 4-0 at FC Etzella Ettelbrück with Hördur Sveinsson getting all the goals, opening the scoring in the tenth minute and adding three more in the final half-hour. Meanwhile, Finland's Allianssi will have a 3-0 lead to take to European newcomers CS Pétange. Allianssi's previous UEFA Cup campaign ended with a draw and defeat but Justus Vajanne and Chris Cleaver put them two up at the break and Jon Poulsen extended their advantage against the Luxembourg Cup winners five minutes from time.
FC BATE Borisov of Belarus won 1-0 in Georgia against FC Torpedo Kutaisi, but it was a close shave. Aleksei Baga converted a 27th-minute penalty for the visitors, but they conceded a spot-kick of their own six minutes from the end - only for Mikheil Kakaladze to spurn the chance.
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