KF Tirana 1-5 Grazer AK GAK overcome early scare to gain convincing victory in Albanian capital.
Fjodor Xhafa put the home side ahead when he lobbed the ball past Andreas Schranz in the GAK goal after five minutes following a quick break by the Albanian champions.
Bazina levels scores
However, the early strike failed to undermine the Austrians as they took control with three goals before the interval. Mario Bazina capitalised on a mistake in the Tirana defence to put GAK on level terms after 14 minutes.
GAK move ahead
René Aufhauser then sent the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute with a header from a corner shortly after Indrit Fortuzi had rattled the crossbar for the home side with a shot from 20 metres, and they extended their lead four minutes before the break when Ilco Naumoski scored with a high shot from the edge of the penalty area.
GAK continued to dominate in the second half as Tirana's counterattacks became ever rarer, with Joachim Standfest nodding in from close range after 56 minutes and Naumoski adding his second eight minutes from time with a low shot from 16 metres.
Tirana will visit Graz next Wednesday for the return, with a place to play 2002/03 quarter-finalists and four-time winners AFC Ajax at stake.