Elfsborg lead way for victorious eight

The first qualifying round ended on Wednesday evening with IF Elfsborg among eight teams winning through to join the six who had already progressed.

The UEFA Champions League first qualifying round concluded tonight with eight teams winning through to join the six who progressed yesterday to the penultimate hurdle before the group stage. Home sides dominated the evening's action with IF Elfsborg and FC Levadia Tallinn chief among them - the latter equalling Estonia’s best-ever achievement in the competition by successfully negotiating this stage. Of the travelling teams, only FH Hafnarfjördur and NK Domžale are still involved.

IF Elfsborg 1-0 Linfield FC (agg: 1-0)
Mathias Svensson was the home hero as the Swedish side won through to earn a meeting with Debreceni VSC. Elfsborg were on the offensive straight away with striker Fredrik Berglund twice going close. Mathias Svensson eventually opened the scoring with a header after a neat cross from Anders Svensson, although the ball first hit the bar and the Linfield goalkeeper before crossing the line. Linfield nearly got a priceless away goal when Damien Curran's header was cleared by Stefan Ishizaki and Curran also saw a volley saved by Johan Wiland in a thrilling finish.

FC Pyunik 2-0 Derry City FC (agg: 2-0)
A glamour tie with FC Shakhtar Donetsk awaits the Armenian hosts after goals in each half from strikers Arsen Avetisan and Gevorg Ghazaryan saw off the visitors. After a goalless draw in the Republic of Ireland last week, the deadlock was finally broken when Avetisan saw his original shot saved by Pat Jennings and followed up to score. Derry defender Darren Kelly headed against the Pyunik bar on the hour but the home crowd were able to relax when Ghazaryan scored from Levon Pachajyan's right-wing cross.

Tampere United 2-0 S.S. Murata (agg: 4-1)
After a 2-1 victory in San Marino last time, the Finnish club were always confident of confirming a tie against PFC Levski Sofia. That was underlined in the opening minutes when Tomi Petrescu fired into the top-right corner from 18 metres. Tampere's lead on the night was soon doubled when Petrescu turned provider for Jari Niemi to score from close range. Murata were barely in the contest and had to wait an hour for their first chance.

FK Ventspils 2-1 The New Saints FC (agg: 4-4, Ventspils win on away goals)
Despite the scoreline, Ventspils were always in command with TNS's goal on a sodden night coming deep into added time. Having lost 3-2 in Wales, the Latvian side knew a good start was required and it duly came when Jean-Paul Ndeki headed in. The second came soon after the interval when Deniss Kacanovs also scored with his head, leaving TNS needing two goals to go through. By the time Martin Naylor scored with his free-kick, Ventspils were already dreaming of an encounter with FC Salzburg.

FC Levadia Tallinn 0-0 FK Pobeda (agg: 1-0)
Konstantin Nahk’s first-leg free-kick in sweltering F.Y.R. Macedonia last week ultimately proved enough to give the Estonian capital club a dream tie with FK Crvena Zvezda. The visitors could not find the goal they needed to at least take the tie into extra time and their profligacy in front of the net meant Levadia won through to the second qualifying round for only the second time in their history – something no other team from their country has ever managed.

HB Tórshavn 0-0 FH Hafnarfjördur (agg: 1-4)
The Icelandic visitors comfortably won through to a duel with FC BATE Borisov after keeping their Faroese hosts HB at bay. Having won 4-1 at home last week, there was always going to be little suspense in the return. Hafnarfjördur, in their third successive season in the competition, also reached the second qualifying round in the 2006/07 campaign but will want to perform better than the 3-0 aggregate defeat by Legia Warszawa suffered then.

MŠK Žilina 5–4 F91 Dudelange (agg: 7-5)
The Slovakian side edged a nine-goal thriller on the night but always held the upper hand in this tie after their 2-1 success in Luxembourg last week. Žilina raced into a three-goal lead inside half-an-hour courtesy of goals from Pavel Devaty, Ivan Lietava and Peter Styvar. Joris Di Gregorio pulled two back either side of the interval but Benjamin Vomacka soon struck again for the home team. Laurent Guthlebera again cut the deficit for the visitors only for Styvar to score his side’s fifth. A late consolation from Zarko Lukic completed the scoring but it is Žilina who will face Czech rivals SK Slavia Praha.

KF Tirana 1-2 NK Domžale (agg: 1-3)

NK Dinamo Zagreb will take on Slovenian opposition after Domžale added victory in Albania to their 1-0 success at home. Zlatan Ljubijankič, with a header, and Dario Zahora, who missed the first game through suspension, struck either side of a Klodian Duro goal to confirm the visitors' progress. "We played as a team and we took our chances," said Domžale coach Slavisa Stojanović. "As I predicted the return of Dario made the difference."