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MKE Ankaragücü 1-2 Deportivo Alavés
Late goals in each half from Martín Astudillo and substitute Rubén Navarro saw Deportivo Alavés come from behind to claim a 2-1 victory and a stranglehold on their UEFA Cup first-round tie against MKE Ankaragücü at the 19 Mayis stadium in Ankara.
The 2001 UEFA Cup finalists had looked nervous in the opening stages with Ghanaian striker Augustine Ahinful in particular a thorn in the side of the Alavés defence, and on seven minutes goalkeeper Richard Dutruel was twice forced into close-range reflex saves before his side began to settle.
Although Ankaragücü were enjoying the majority of possession, it was Alavés who should have gone ahead on the break after 28 minutes, only for Astudillo to shoot tamely wide from five metres when picked out unmarked in front of goal. Grateful for the reprieve, the home side hit back immediately. Mehmet Türkmehmet burst through on the left and crossed for Radu Niculescu who knocked the ball in at the near post, leaving Dutruel with no chance.
Astudillo hits back
The goal was no more than Ankaragücü had deserved and they looked to be heading into the break in front until Astudillo stunned the home crowd with a powerful strike from 30 metres. The ball broke to the midfield player on the right of the penalty area and he atoned for his earlier error by releasing a first-time shot that flew in off the crossbar.
The second half belonged to the Spanish side who dictated play from the outset. Both Jordi Cruyff and Uruguayan striker Ivan Alonso had chances to settle game, but it was not until seven minutes from time that Alavés finally made their possession count. Astudillo was again at the heart of the piece, this time beating Türkmehmet down the right flank before crossing low for Navarro to shoot home the winner at the far post.
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