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Sturm hit back to defeat ten-man AEK Athens

AEK Athens FC 1-2 SK Sturm Graz
The visitors left it late but came from behind to defeat ten-man AEK through Thomas Burgstaller and Mario Haas and claim their first victory in Group L.

Sturm's Patrick Wolf (left) competes with Panagiotis Lagos in his side's 2-1 win in Athens
Sturm's Patrick Wolf (left) competes with Panagiotis Lagos in his side's 2-1 win in Athens ©Getty Images

SK Sturm Graz scored twice late on to defeat ten-man AEK Athens FC and claim their first UEFA Europa League Group L victory.

AEK began the match in impressive fashion but, for all their early dominance, were unable to find a breakthrough in the first half. Joachim Standfest put through his own net soon after the interval but the tide turned when Traianos Dellas was dismissed. The visitors equalised through Thomas Burgstaller and took all three points in the second minute of added time thanks to substitute Mario Haas.

The Greek side started on the front foot with Eidur Gudjohnsen testing Silvije Čavlina in the Sturm goal on two minutes. AEK could have taken the lead moments later when Steve Leo Beleck latched onto Stefan Stangl's short back pass but the 18-year-old forward failed to the find the target with only Čavlina to beat.

Leonardo caused havoc down the left early on and it was his cross, turned goalwards by Gudjohnson, which brought another fine save out of the Sturm No1. Sturm's best outlet was Patrick Wolf on the right but the visitors were struggling for a creative spark in their 50th game in the competition.

AEK scored the goal that their first-half play deserved five minutes after the break. Leonardo broke away down the left and squared it to Carlos who lifted the ball over the goalkeeper only for it to be turned into his own net by Standfest. However, just three minutes after going ahead, AEK captain Traianos Dellas was dismissed for a second yellow card.

Sturm began to make their numerical advantage count and were level three minutes from time when Burgstaller rifled Standfest's cut-back past a helpless Giannis Arabatzis. In added time Imre Szabics found substitute Haas and his left-footed strike from the edge of the penalty area nestled in the bottom right-hand corner to give Sturm their first ever UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League group stage victory away from home.