RSC Anderlecht 0-1 Stabæk IF
Stabæk IF staged a perfect smash-and-grab raid against RSC Anderlecht in Brussels in their UEFA Cup first round first-leg match to take a one-goal lead back to Norway for the return.
The Norwegian side struck early through Christian Michelsen after ten minutes and then hung on resolutely with a disciplined defensive display that frustrated Anderlecht's attacking ambitions.
Anderlecht coach Hugo Broos reshuffled his side dramatically after their weekend reversal against R. Antwerp FC. As well as switching to a 4-3-3 formation, he dropped striker Gilles de Bilde and Czech prodigy Martin Kolar, with Australian Clayton Zane and Albanian Besnik Hasi coming in.
Michelsen on the mark
However, as they struggled to adjust to their new system, Anderlecht were caught out by a well-worked Stabæk goal. After a quick counterattack Christian Wilhelmsson provided the cross from the right and Michelsen ghosted in to head home unattended. Anderlecht fought back strongly and gradually began to dominate, with Korean Ki-Hyeon Seol impressing on the left flank.
De Bilde comes in
Fans' favourite De Bilde was eventually brought into the action and his presence certainly gave the home side greater cutting edge. Within minutes of his introduction, he beat two defenders and put Zane in the clear but the Australian put his shot wide of the far post.
'Luck and hard work'
Stabæk coach Gaute Larfen said: "We knew that if we had a chance to score we had to grab it and that's what we did - we had one real chance. It was not very pretty but we worked very hard as a team. We had good fortune."
'Still a chance'
His Anderlecht counterpart, Hugo Broos, said: "I knew that when we conceded a goal after ten minutes we'd have a wall of players in front of us and that's exactly what happened." However, he added: "I still believe we have a 50-50 chance to go through. If they can win here we can definitely win in Stabæk."