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Europa League minnows set minor landmarks

It was a night of minor firsts as the opening qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League concluded, with strikers Vladimir Yurchenko and Fábio Silva doing their reputations no harm.

Dnepr's Vladimir Yurchenko scored the 2010/11 season's first hat-trick
Dnepr's Vladimir Yurchenko scored the 2010/11 season's first hat-trick ©Pressball

The earliest of the 26 concluding UEFA Europa League opening qualifying round ties kicked off at 17.00CET in Yerevan, Kaunas and Skopje with the final final whistle blowing in Reykjavik almost six hours later.

The 21-year-old Vladimir Yurchenko scored the maiden hat-trick of the new European season as FC Dnepr Mogilev followed up a 1-1 first leg draw against Albania's KS Laçi with a 7-1 home win. The Belarus Under-21 striker – on loan from FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast – scored his side's second (a penalty), fourth and sixth goals as Dnepr earned a second qualifying round tie against Stabæk IF of Norway.

FK Rabotnicki's Fábio Silva matched Yurchenko's haul for the night as the side from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia won 6-0 at FC Lusitans of Andorra, with that victory allowing them to build up the highest aggregate success of the round: 11-0. The 26-year-old Brazilian, who scored twice in the first leg, completed his treble in 21 minutes spanning half-time; Yurchenko's looked positively slow by comparison at 64.

Another 2010/11 landmark was set at the S. Darius & S. Girenas stadium in Kaunas, where Lithuanian side FK Tauras became the first club to win a tie in extra time in the new season. Having drawn 2-2 against Llanelli AFC in Wales last week, four first-half goals left matters even. Darius Regelskis eventually registered the winner after 104 minutes, with Tauras to host Cyprus's APOEL FC in their next European game.

The first tie of the new season to be won on away goals concluded in Azerbaijan, with home side FK Khazar Lankaran unable to get the better of Moldova's FC Olimpia Bălţi. The sides drew 0-0 last week, and while Haitian forward Jean-Robens Jerome's opener for the visitors was cancelled out by an effort from Honduran Allan Lalin, Olimpia earned the right to play Romania's FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti on Thursday 15 July.