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Opening volley fires Villa to victory

FH Hafnarfjördur 1-4 Aston Villa FC
Two goals in the first six minutes set Villa on the way to a convincing triumph over their Icelandic opponents.

Ashley Young was one of four goalscorers for Villa
Ashley Young was one of four goalscorers for Villa ©Getty Images

Two goals in the first six minutes helped Aston Villa FC put one foot into the UEFA Cup first round after a convincing 4-1 away win against FH Hafnarfjördur.

Four-star Villa
Gareth Barry scored the first on three minutes and Villa took control of the tie soon afterwards through Ashley Young's effort. Gabriel Agbonlahor increased the visitors' advantage and although Matthias Gudmundsson reduced the arrears, Martin Laursen added a fourth.

Disrupted gameplan
The home side's coach, Heimir Gudjónsson, had talked before the match of making life difficult for the English club, but before they could put their gameplan into action, Villa were ahead, Barry poking in following Young's cross. Then the latter broke away and shot across goalkeeper Gunnar Sigurdsson, whose touch could not prevent the ball creeping in off the post.

Big advantage
After the shock of falling two goals behind, FH created a couple of good chances before Agbonlahor added a side-footed third in the 38th minute. The Icelandic outfit did strike on the stroke of half-time, Tryggvi Gudmundsson's excellent cross reaching his namesake Matthias who nodded home, but Laursen's header restored the three-goal cushion and despite further half-chances for both teams, it is Villa who will be the overwhelming favourites to progress when the two teams meet again on 28 August.