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Lokomotiv come from behind to stun Sturm

SK Sturm Graz 1-2 FC Lokomotiv Moskva
The visitors came from behind to win their opening Group L encounter courtesy of goals from Victor Obinna and Dmitri Sychev.

Lokomotiv celebrate Victor Obinna's equalising goal against Sturm
Lokomotiv celebrate Victor Obinna's equalising goal against Sturm ©Getty Images

FC Lokomotiv Moskva came from behind to secure victory against SK Sturm Graz in their opening UEFA Europa League Group L encounter.

Lokomotiv came out firing but, against the run of play, found themselves trailing to an Imre Szabics strike early on. Two goals in quick succession, from Victor Obinna and Dmitri Sychev, turned the tide in favour of the visitors who defended their lead with ease after the break.

The Russian Premier League outfit, wearing black armbands to mark the tragedy involving their country's hockey team HK Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, started well and came close to opening the scoring through Denis Glushakov, but his long-range effort was pushed away by Silvije Čavlina in the Sturm goal.

With virtually their first foray into opposition territory the hosts took the lead, Patrick Wolf escaping down the right and squaring to Szabics, whose first-time strike from the edge of the penalty area found the top right-hand corner.

The game was then turned on its head in the space of two minutes just shy of the half-hour mark. Firstly, Roman Shishkin's free-kick from the left bounced off Obinna's thigh past a helpless Čavlina to draw Lokomotiv level. Almost immediately after the restart José Couceiro's side were ahead as Glushakov's wonderful effort from distance came back off the angle with Sychev on hand to volley in the rebound superbly.

Chances were few and far between in a cagey second half, although the lively Glushakov should have extended the visitors' lead on 61 minutes but somehow managed to direct Alberto Zapater's low cross over the bar.

The hosts never really looked like drawing level and Szabics's 83rd-minute strike, which was comfortably saved by Guilherme, was all they had to show for their efforts after the break, meaning Lokomotiv saw out the remaining minutes with ease. Next up for Sturm is a trip to Greece to face AEK Athens FC while Lokomotiv host RSC Anderlecht.

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