SK Sturm Graz 5-2 Livingston FC
SK Sturm Graz bounced back from Ivica Osim's resignation at the weekend with a 5-2 demolition of Livingston FC in the first round of the UEFA Cup, slamming four goals inside ten second-half minutes to leave the Scottish side with an unenviable task at Almondvale in a fortnight's time.
A tale of two halves
The tie was finely poised at the interval, with the hosts only leading 1-0 after Arnold Wetl established a deserved lead eight minutes before the interval. The second half, however, was a different story and the complexion of the encounter changed radically when Imre Szabics doubled the lead five minutes after the restart. Receiving a long ball from midfield with his back to goal, the Hungarian forward left marker Philippe Brinquin for dead, burst into the penalty area and blasted home past Javier Broto.
Sturm hungry for more
Two minutes later it was 3-0 as Turkish midfield player Ekrem Dag rushed into the box and poked the ball into the net after Broto failed to hold on to a shot from Alain Masudi. The Austrians scored again soon after when David Mujiri capped a finely crafted move with a precise finish, before compounding Livingston's woes when he drilled low into the bottom corner two minutes later.
Heads firmly bowed, the Scots were thoroughly overwhelmed and the rest of the match was an exercise in damage limitation. The visitors did at least manage to restore some pride in the dying stages, Juan Camacho, with a volley from a corner, and Anthony Lovell, from outside the box, giving the West Lothian side a lifeline. If caretaker coach Franco Foda can rouse Sturm to more performances like this, the board of the Austrian club need look no further for Osim's replacement.