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Stabæk IF 4-0 Linfield FC
Norwegian side Stabæk IF virtually guaranteed a spot in the UEFA Cup first round tonight with a 4-0 demolition of Northern Ireland's Linfield FC at the Nadderud stadium.
Change of pace
The hosts could have won the qualifying-round tie by an even wider margin but eased the pace after the interval following well-taken first-half goals from strikers Thomas Finstad, who put the hosts ahead on 12 minutes, and Tryggvi Gudmundsson.
When Gudmundsson struck on 18 minutes, the writing was on the wall for Linfield. The Northern Irish were simply overrun by a home side inspired by their committed captain, ex-FC Wimbledon player Martin Andresen.
The Irish enjoyed a spell of dominance shortly after the break but still struggled to fashion any meaningful opportunities. Nevertheless, it was just a question of time before the third goal – and there were no surprises when Marel Baldvinsson slammed past goalkeeper Alan Mannus with a raking drive.
Gudmunsson completed the scoring with his second in the dying stages. His angled shot from distance capped a commanding display from Stabæk, who have little to fear in the away leg.
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