|I||H. Kiryat Shmona||19:00||Lyon|
Molde FK beat VfB Stuttgart 2-0 to get off the mark in UEFA Europa League Group E.
Following the example of his coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær – a man who made a career out of scoring as a substitute – Jo Inge Berget headed in his side's 58th-minute opener after being beckoned from the bench in the first half. That punctured Stuttgart's attempts for victory before Daniel Chima's late second ended their resistance once and for all.
A scorer himself on matchday one, Pape Paté Diouf could have picked up from where he left off after just four minutes. Free in the inside left channel, he shot too close to Sven Ulreich, however.
That reprieve appeared to kick Stuttgart into gear and they ought to have gone in front just two minutes later. Molde goalkeeper Espen Bugge Pettersen failed to deal with a seemingly harmless cross and Ibrahima Traoré struck first time against the bar. Granted a second bite at the cherry, he subsequently missed the target altogether.
Vedad Ibišević and Tamás Hajnal then combined intricately on the edge of the box, before Martin Harnik slashed the ball across the face of goal. Equally culpable of profligate finishing was Hajnal, who fired over after Ibišević's delivery deflected into his path.
Stuttgart pressed again immediately after the break as Harnik's surge through the heart of Molde's defence warranted a finish to match, but Ibišević fired over and the hosts never looked back.
Martin Linnes epitomised their renewed vigour and it was his charging run and beautifully flighted cross which allowed Berget the simplest of back-post headers. Chima nearly added another from Magnus Eikrem's free-kick, but the left-hand post came to Stuttgart's rescue. Although Berget reacted quickest, his first-time rebound, remarkably, struck the opposite upright.
Chima had no such misfortune in the closing stages, finishing sublimely with the outside of his foot to rubber-stamp the win.
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