FC Vaduz 1-1 Livingston FC Livingston are in the driving seat thanks to Oscar Rubio.
FC Vaduz 1-1 Livingston FC
Livingston FC edged a step closer to a place in the first round of the UEFA Cup as they drew 1-1 against FC Vaduz in the first leg of their qualifying round tie in Liechtenstein.
Vaduz started the match brightly inside the Gemeindesportplaz Vaduz stadium, but failed to create a clear-cut chance against their Scottish opponents in a pulsating first half. Livingston were more attack-minded and looked to hit their hosts on the counterattack, with good opportunities falling to Barry Wilson and Ivory Coast striker Eugène Dadi.
Rubio on target
The Scottish side finally broke the deadlock six minutes after the restart through Oscar Rubio. Livingston were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Gary Bollan's shot was spilled by Vaduz goalkeeper Romuald Peiser into the path of Rubio, who tapped in from close range.
However, Vaduz, who play their league football in the Swiss second division due to there being no professional league in Liechtenstein, levelled through Franz Burgmeier ten minutes later. Burgmeier latched on to a long ball and played a neat one-two with Vaidotas Slekys before shooting from ten metres into the bottom left corner.
Both teams seemed satisfied with the result and the pace of the game dropped considerably during the closing stages. Slekys, arguably the man of the match, continued to impress but it is Livingston who will be the happier of the two sides, having scored an away goal ahead of the second leg on 29 August.
Vaduz coach Walter Hörmann was pleased with his side's performance but is wary of the return leg. "I am very proud of my players," he said. "We played much better than on Saturday against Lausanne-Sports. It's a bit sad that we conceded a goal and we were unable to continue to look for the winning goal in the last part of the match. But I can understand my players - as in previous matches we have paid a high price for our attacking mentality."
'Win at home'
Hörmann's opposite number, Jim Leishman, was in philosophical mood after the final whistle, saying: "I am quite satisfied with our game and the result we achieved. I am just a bit angry that we have been unable to maintain the lead after opening the scoring. Now, we will have to win at home to make it to the next round."
Vaduz defender André Niederhäuser praised his team-mates for their battling attitude, having fallen behind in the closely fought contest. "We played aggressively in the first half," he said. "And we did not allow them to produce any dangerous chances in the second half. After undeservedly going a goal down, we managed to fight back and maintain control after the equaliser."