Beaten finalists last season, Sporting Clube de Portugal got their new UEFA Cup campaign off to a fine start with a 2-1 win at Halmstads BK.
The Lisbon side, who lost last year's final on home soil to PFC CSKA Moskva, struggled at first but a goal from Wender and a second from fellow Brazilian Deivid cancelled out Gunnar Heidar Thorvaldsson's penalty for the Swedish side.
The first half was an uneven affair with chances at a premium for both sides, but while Halmstad enjoyed the lion's share of possession it was the Portuguese visitors who created the better chances with Luís Loureiro going close with a right-footed volley. However, it was Halmstad who opened the scoring after Yaw Preko was brought down by Sporting goalkeeper Nélson in the penalty area. Striker Thorvaldsson stepped up to convert the spot-kick two minutes before the interval.
Sporting were back on level terms before the break, though, after Rodrigo Tello's left-footed free-kick caused havoc in the Halmstad area. Tommy Jönsson cleared the initial effort but midfielder Wender emerged from the resulting melée to score the equaliser. Within two minutes of the restart, Sporting edged in front as João Alves's inswinging corner found Deivid unmarked in the penalty area, and the Brazilian striker made no mistake from close range.
Halmstad had their chances to level, with Nélson having to produce an excellent save to deny Bjorn Anklev's effort from a Per Johansson cross, but Alves could well have secured a two-goal lead for his side had he not missed a late opening.