VfB Stuttgart 4-1 FK Ventspils
VfB Stuttgart look on course for the second round of the UFA Cup after recording a 4-1 win against FK Ventspils on Thursday night.
Ventspils found themselves under immediate pressure from Felix Magath's side, with Bulgarian playmaker Krassimir Balakov orchestrating the attacks on the Latvian side's goal. The pressure almost paid off when Igors Troickis brought down Bradley Carnell inside the box but Denis Romanovs saved brilliantly Balakov's penalty.
However, Ioannis Amanatidis secured the breakthrough after 22 minutes when he bustled past two defenders before lobbing the ball over Romanovs. Bad turned worse for the visitors eleven minutes later when a superb pass from Carnell found the head of Kevin Kuranyi who had no trouble doubling the score.
Gleb scores from spot
After 40 minutes, Kuranyi doubled his tally when he finished off a counterattack to make it 3-0. Aleksandr Gleb succeeded where Balakov had failed by scoring Stuttgart's fourth from the penalty spot after 56 minutes, before Vits Rimkus cut the deficit to 4-1 ten minutes later.
"We started very well and built a comfortable lead at half-time, then we slowed down in the second half and unfortunately conceded a goal but I'm confident we'll make it to the second round," said Stuttgart coach Felix Magath.
'Too much respect'
His Ventspils counterpart, Paul Ashworth, described the match as "an important lesson" for his team and added: "I think we showed them too much respect in the first half and if we'd played as we did in the second the half-time score would not have been 3-0."