Legia Warszawa 4-1 FC Utrecht
Legia Warszawa plundered two first-half goals, which ultimately provided the basis for an impressive victory against Dutch side FC Utrecht in the UEFA Cup first round first-leg tie in the Polish capital.
Two chances - two goals
The first half was evenly contested, but Legia managed to profit from both their clearcut scoring opportunities, as first Jacek Zielinski and then Aleksandr Vukovic scored. Zielinski headed Legia into the lead in the 19th minute when he met Tomasz Kielbowicz's cross, and then Vukotic combined with Yugoslav compatriot Stanko Svitlica to fire the ball into the Utrecht net off the underside of the crossbar eight minutes later.
Two goals in arrears, Utrecht were forced to attack, they got back into the game in the 47th minute when Dirk Kuijt slid to knock the ball into the net past a motionless Radostin Stanev. The momentum now looked to have turned in the favour of the visitors, but Legia managed to withstand several minutes of consistent pressure before breaking away to restore their two-goal lead.
Svitlica on target
Svitlica scored on the hour, having first been denied by Harald Wapenaar in the Utrecht goal. However, the Dutch goalkeeper and his retreating defenders were powerless to stop the Yugoslavian striker's second attempt. Legia continued to create scoring chances and Kielbowicz floated an inswinging free-kick into the area for the diving Svitlica to head home at the far post.
The evening worsened yet further for the Dutch side 13 minutes from time, as defender Stijn Vreven collected a second yellow card for a needless tussle with Sergei Omelyanchuk. "Everything can happen in football, but with ten men you cannot expect to get back into the match," said Utrecht coach Foeke Booy. "We didn't expect this result to be honest, and this is bad, but this is now what faces us."
'We deserved the win'
"We deserved the win - this was our best match in recent weeks," said Dragomir Okuka, Booy's opposite number at Legia. "The first half made it for us as we scored two goals, but this tie is not over yet. We must be careful in the return match because Utrecht are good at home."