Albanian Cup holders FK Partizani took a two-goal advantage after a high-scoring UEFA Cup first qualifying round first leg against Maltese side Birkirkara FC.
Partizani went close on 14 minutes when Brazilian defender Marcelo Brachini hit the crossbar with visiting goalkeeper Justin Haber beaten. However, nine minutes later Sokol Bulku did give the Tirana side the lead.
In the 27th minute, it was 2-0 when Haber brought down Dorian Bylykbashi in the area, and the same player stepped up to beat the goalkeeper. However, Birkirkaka did pull one back eight minutes from the break when Brachini put through his own goal.
The home side restored their two-goal cushion early in the second half when Alert Alcani headed in after a corner, and went further ahead on 69 minutes when Alcani found Skerdi Pejzate, who made no mistake. But Birkirkara gave themselves hope for the second leg on 29 July with another away goal when Maltese international striker George Mallia scored eight minutes before the end.