Central-East round-up: There were mixed fortunes for Austrian clubs as SV Ried saw off PFC Neftchi and SV Mattersburg lost 1-0 in Kazakhstan to FK Aktobe.
The ten UEFA Cup first qualifying round games in the Central-East region produced six home victories and four draws - with no team able to win away from home. There were mixed fortunes for Austrian clubs as SV Ried saw off PFC Neftchi 3-1 and SV Mattersburg lost 1-0 in Kazakhstan to FK Aktobe, while BSC Young Boys from across the border in Switzerland were held in Armenia. uefa.com rounds up the action, with all ten ties set to conclude in a fortnight.
SV Ried 3-1 PFC Neftchi
Austrian runners-up last season, Ried scored twice in the final three minutes to make themselves favourite to reach the second qualifying round. Ewald Brenner scored the first of those goals in the 87th minute, turning in Herwig Drechsel's quick free-kick, and Hamdi Salihi the other in the 89th as he slid in to convert a low cross from Harun Erbek. Ried had earlier opened the scoring in the second minute through Drechsel's fine volley from distance, although the Azeri visitors were only behind for 12 minutes as Samir Aliyev made no mistake when one-on-one with goalkeeper Hans-Peter Berger.
FK Aktobe 1-0 SV Mattersburg
Ried's Bundesliga rivals Mattersburg will have to win on home soil in order to keep their UEFA Cup ambitions alive after falling to a late first-leg goal at the Tcentralny Stadium, Marat Khayrullin providing the finishing touch to a sweeping move in the 85th minute to give the Kazakh side the advantage. Mattersburg had been the better team until that point, with home goalkeeper Zhasulan Dekhkanov keeping Aktobe in the tie. Dekhkanov frustrated Carsten Jancker in particular – not least when saving a late penalty from the towering German striker.
FC Banants 1-1 BSC Young Boys
Swiss visitors Young Boys made a strong start in Armenia and could have taken the lead inside three minutes as Carlos Varela raced round the home goalkeeper and slid the ball towards the empty net only for Karen Simonyan to hook the ball to safety from the goal line. The Berne club were not to be denied, however, and opened the scoring in the 17th minute as Kader Mangane headed in from a corner. Mangane and Daniel João Paulo both wasted chances to make the game safe, and Young Boys were made to pay in the 67th minute when Eduard Kakosyan tapped in the loose ball after goalkeeper Marco Wölfli spilled a long-range shot from Aram Hakobyan.
MKT Araz 0-0 Groclin Grodzisk Wielkopolski
Chances were at a premium at the Tofikh Bakhramov-Republic Stadium, leaving the tie wide open ahead of the return in Poland. Home striker Anatolie Doros failed to take advantage of a one-on-one in the first half, while Groclin forward Adrian Sikora struck a post in the second. The visitors finished the game on top, although Araz went closest through Asif Mammadov.
GKS Bełchatów 2-0 FC Ameri Tbilisi
Polish challengers Bełchatów will be confident of advancing to the next round in Georgia in two weeks' time after scoring twice without reply at the GKS Stadium. Dariusz Pietrasiak was the home hero, finding the net in the 51st and 83rd minutes.
FC Nistru Otaci 1-1 Budapest Honvéd FC
With the temperature touching 40C in Moldova, it was no surprise to see the first half played at a slow pace. Nistru opened the scoring just short of the half-hour when Serghei Butelschi delivered a low cross which Olexandr Malitskyy turned beyond visiting goalkeeper Iván Tóth. The tempo increased after the break, and so did the threat from Honvéd who levelled the tie in the 52nd minute as Abraham Guie-Guie Gneki outstripped two defenders and fired the ball in from 15 metres.
FC Dinamo Tbilisi 2-0 FC Vaduz
Dinamo coach Dušan Uhrin fielded three new signings at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium and saw one of them, Georges Edouard Akiremy Owondo, score the second goal after Giorgi Merebashvili had put the Georgian outfit ahead. Czech left-back Roman Dobeš and Gabon goalkeeper Didier Janvier Ovono Ebang, who enjoyed an excellent debut, were the other newcomers. Dinamo dominated from the off but had to wait until the 66th minute to make that count as Merebashvili won a penalty before stepping up and dispatching it into the net. Scorer turned creator seven minutes later, Akiremy opening his account to leave Dinamo well placed ahead of the return in Liechtenstein.
MTK Budapest 2-1 FC MIKA
A superb 56th-minute goal from Gábor Urbán proved a fitting winner at the Megyeri úti Stadium as Hungarian side MTK earned a slender advantage against their Armenian visitors. The forward beat his marker, looked up and drilled the ball into the left-hand side of the net. MTK had taken the lead through Ádám Pintér (20) although the teams went in on terms thanks to Gleber's neat finish on the stroke of half-time. MTK had a great opportunity to extend their lead in added time, only for Serbian Mladen Lambulić to fire his penalty against the crossbar after Levente Horváth had been felled in the box.
FC Vion Zlaté Moravce 3-1 FC Alma-Ata
Substitute Miloš Gibala was the Zlaté Moravce hero as he scored twice for the Slovakian club and created the other for Roman Greguška, although an 82nd-minute away goal will have given the Kazakh visitors renewed hope ahead of their home second leg. "To score two goals in my first European match, I have to be satisfied," Gibala said. "It's a pity we conceded a late goal. The second leg will be a fight."
FC Artmedia Petržalka 1-1 FC Zimbru Chisinau
Artmedia coach Vladimír Weiss called for an improved second-leg performance from his Slovakian side after they were held by Zimbru in sweltering Senec. Both goals came from the penalty spot, Martin Ďurica (20) scoring for Artmedia and Alexey Zhdanov (69) replying for the Moldovan challengers. "It's a disappointing result but I believe my team will show their quality in the second leg," Weiss said. "We need to score away from home as we want to go further in this competition."