FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Grazer AK and Tromsø IL all secured fine away victories as the UEFA Cup second qualifying round got under way on Thursday evening.
Ukrainian side Dnipro scored three goals in the final ten minutes to seal a stunning comeback win at FC Banants and earn a 4-2 advantage to take into the second leg on 25 August. The home side looked to be cruising after two first-half goals from Aram Hakobyan, but defender Volodymyr Yezerskyy reduced the deficit four minutes after the interval. Two goals in as many minutes from Siarhei Karnilenka turned the match on its head before Kostyantin Balabanov secured an unlikely win.
FC Krylya Sovetov Samara earned a welcome boost with a 2-0 victory against FC BATE Borisov in Russia. On-loan Ghanaian striker Baba Adamu broke the deadlock on eight minutes before Andriy Husin doubled the lead from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining to leave the side on course for a place in the first round.
Austrian Bundesliga outfit GAK won by the same margin but the side that defeated European champions Liverpool FC at Anfield last season struggled against FC Nistru Otaci in Moldova. The home side kept GAK at bay until the 55th minute when Andreas Schrott broke the deadlock and two minutes later Anton Ehmann, another defender, doubled the advantage.
Two spectacular strikes from Daniel Niculae earned AFC Rapid Bucuresti a comfortable 3-0 home victory against FK Vardar from F.Y.R. Macedonia. The precocious Romania striker's goals both came in a six-minute spell either side of half-time, before Constantin Maldarasanu sealed the win with a long-range effort midway through the second period.
The match between Finnish side Myllykosken Pallo-47 and Scottish Cup finalists Dundee United FC ended 0-0, as did SK Brann's encounter with Finnish side AC Allianssi. Two other Scandinavian sides met in Denmark, where Lars Strand's tenth-minute goal earned the Norwegian visitors Tromsø an invaluable 1-0 victory against Esbjerg fB.
Halmstads BK were held in Sweden after midfield player Oran Kearney's 72nd-minute strike gave Linfield FC an invaluable 1-1 draw, cancelling out Andreas Johansson's goal just after the half-hour mark. Danish side FC Midtjylland also conceded a late goal against B36 Tórshavn, but still won 2-1. Striker Frank Kristensen was the hero, making the breakthrough seven minutes before the interval and then adding a second on 71 minutes. Bogi Hermansen then reduced the deficit to leave the Faroese outfit with some hope for the return leg in a fortnight.
It was a similar story in Serbia and Montenegro where home side OFK Beograd eased to a two-goal lead against PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Eristijan Kirovski and Branislav Ivanovic were both on target before half-time but Martin Kamburov reduced the deficit ten minutes after the interval. However, the striker was then dismissed, ending his side's hopes of finding an equaliser.
In an evening of late breakthroughs, the game between FC Ashdod and NK Domžale went against the grain as the sides shared four first-half goals in Tel-Aviv. The visitors twice led through Dalibor Stevanovic and Brazilian defender Jhonnes Marquez but goals from Zoran Rajovic and Cameroonian Jean Dika Dika earned the Israeli team a 2-2 draw. Finally, Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski overcame FK Dukla Banská Bystrica 4-1 in Poland, with all the goals coming after the break.
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