Aberdeen FC 1-0 FC Nistru Otaci
Scottish side Aberdeen FC were made to work to earn a single-goal victory against Moldova's FC Nistru Otacin in their UEFA Cup qualifying round first-leg match at Pittordrie.
The home side found difficulty in breaking down a well-organised defensive unit, and it took a second-half header from striker Darren McKie to finally break the Moldovan resistance.
Hopes still alive
But Nistru must strongly fancy their chances of creating an upset against the 1983 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners in the second leg. The visitors looked dangerous throughout and they almost made an 18th-minute breakthrough when Serghei Pogreban just failed to connect with Lilian Popescu's cross.
For the home side, Chris Clark twice came close to breaking the deadlock in a nervous first half for the Scottish team. But Aberdeen did take the lead in the 59th minute when McKie headed in an excellent cross from Derek Young at the near post. Nistru could have grabbed a deserved equaliser four minutes before the end, but substitute Serhiy Yanchuc was just unable to fully connect with Serhiy Lashchenkov's cross.
’Happy with the lead’
Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl acknowledged that his side had been fortunate to escape with a narrow victory, saying after the game: "It was as difficult as I thought it would be. The way the game went, we should be happy with the lead. They showed they are a decent side with some physical elements and they showed they had a good technique. I would have preferred a bigger lead but 1-0 is better than 2-1."