Northern round-up: Captain Martin Laursen struck late to give Odense BK a 1-1 draw while Henrik Larsson found the target again for Helsingborgs IF.
UEFA Cup group stage contenders last season, captain Ulrik Laursen left it late to earn Odense BK a 1-1 draw in the away leg of their second qualifying round tie at FC Dinamo Minsk, while Henrik Larsson was on target again for Helsingborgs IF as uefa.com rounds up the northern region ties.
FC Dinamo Minsk 1-1 Odense BK
Laursen struck four minutes into added time to deny Dinamo a victory in Belarus. Having recovered from a nervy opening, Dinamo's Slovakian striker Róbert Rák proved a handful for OB, hitting one shot over the crossbar before being denied in a one-on-one by goalkeeper Arek Onyszko. It was Andrei Putilo who eventually gave the home side the lead with a fine run and shot from 18 metres after 73 minutes. However, Laursen had already hit the crossbar before finding the target with a shot from the edge of the area.
Drogheda United FC 1-1 Helsingborgs IF
Larsson scored his third UEFA Cup goal of the campaign but could not earn Helsingborg a win at Dalymount Park as Republic of Ireland Under-21 striker Eamon Zayed gave Drogheda hope for their second-leg trip to Sweden. Having scored twice against JK Trans Narva in the previous round, former Celtic FC and FC Barcelona hero Larsson finished from Razak Omotoyossi's cross on 34 minutes. Zayed then struck his second of the campaign after 53 minutes to level following good work by Richie Baker and Tony Grant.
SK Liepajas Metalurgs 3-2 AIK Solna
The Latvian outfit were victorious but left to regret letting a two-goal lead slip. Girts Karlsons and Denis Ivanovs both headed in from corners to give Metalurgs a great start, only for the latter to blot his copybook as he inadvertently lifted the ball over his own goalkeeper, Viktor Spole, to let AIK back into the game. Lucas Valdemarin then made it 2-2 after 61 minutes, and while Karlsons and Andrejs Rubins set up Tomas Tamošauskas for a Metalurgs winner ten minutes from time, two away goals could represent a big advantage for the Swedish challengers.
FC Haka 1-2 FC Midtjylland
Two goals from Frank Kristensen helped Midtjylland to an important away win in Finland, leaving Haka with it all to do in Denmark. The striker opened his account after 12 minutes, pouncing on a loose ball to beat Haka goalkeeper Alexander Dovbnya, and doubled the lead two minutes before the interval with a header. Kalle Parviainen nodded Haka back into contention early in the second half but an equaliser proved beyond them.
HJK Helsinki 2-1 Aalborg BK
Of the three Finnish sides in action, only HJK avoided a home defeat. Kabba Samura's rasping strike put the Helsinki side ahead after 15 minutes but they went in level at the interval as Kasper Risgård found the target following an AaB free-kick. Samura was not to be denied though, scoring a second with a header from a Grant Smith cross ten minutes into the second half to secure a win.
Hammarby 2-1 Fredrikstad FK
Fredrikstad left Sweden with their UEFA Cup hopes intact after Raymond Kvisvik's goal 15 minutes from time gave them a useful away goal against Hammarby. The Stockholm side looked to have built up a decisive advantage after Brazilian striker Paulinho headed in David Johansson's cross after 31 minutes and a second from Sebastian Castro-Tello a few minutes into the second half gave them a 2-0 lead, but the Danish side snatched the initiative in the tie through Norwegian international midfielder Kvisvik.
FK Ekranas 1-1 Vålerenga IF
Ekranas failed to exploit a man advantage as Vålerenga escaped with a draw on a hot night in Panevezys. Little of note had happened before Dan Thomassen was dismissed for a professional foul (44) for bringing down Egidijus Varnas in the area after a clever Ekranas counterattack. Deimantas Bička converted the penalty for the Lithuanian side but their Norwegian guests grabbed a share of the spoils after home goalkeeper Arvydas Skrupskis spilled a Glenn Roberts cross on 76 minutes, handing Freddy Dos Santos a simple equaliser.
Dunfermline Athletic FC 1-1 BK Häcken
A second-half equaliser from Jonas Henriksson gave Häcken a vital away goal in Scotland. East End Park was hosting its first European tie in 38 years and Stephen Kenny’s side got off to the perfect start with a goal on 60 seconds when Jim Hamilton prodded the ball in after Sol Bamba’s header had come back off the crossbar. Four minutes later goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie was forced off with a thigh injury meaning 21-year-old reserve Sean Murdoch made his senior debut and the youngster showed signs of nerves ten minutes into the second-half when he misjudged a high ball, leaving Henriksson with a tap-in.
SK Brann 2-1 FK Sūduva
Sūduva's hopes of a first round place are very much alive after José Negreiros sent Brann goalkeeper Johan Thorbjørnsen the wrong way from the penalty spot to wrest a precious away goal in Bergen. Brann led after 24 minutes after Armann Björnsson steered in a cross from the right and Robbie Winters found the target from 18 metres just after the interval to double the deficit. However. a mistimed challenge from Brann captain Martin Andresen after 56 minutes saw them concede a spot-kick which could prove costly in the second leg in Lithuania.