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Stuttgart double their advantage

FK Ventspils 1-4 VfB Stuttgart (Agg: 2-8) Stuttgart complete the rout in Riga.

VfB Stuttgart reached the second round of the UEFA Cup after recording their second 4-1 win against FK Ventspils in Riga.

Same score again
A 4-1 win at the Gottleib-Daimler-Stadion had put the 1. Bundesliga firmly into the driving seat in the first leg, and Stuttgart completed the rout in Riga by winning the second leg by the same score.

Attacking tactics
Ventspils had changed their approach for the return leg, with Andris Butriks and Evgeni Landyrev creating a two-pronged attack in Riga. The move paid off almost immediately as Butriks won an aerial challenge and nodded the ball on to Landyrev, who calmly finished into an empty net after 16 minutes.

Tiffert on target
Maris Smirnovs could have doubled the lead almost immediately after that, but his shot was blocked by a defender just in time, and Ventspils were left to rue that timely challenge as Christian Tiffert's shot beat Andrejs Vanins and went in right underneath the crossbar after 21 minutes to level the scores on the night.

Second-half slump
After the break, Stuttgart took command with Michael Mutzel and Aleksandr Gleb setting up Ioan Ganea for a second goal on 53 minutes which took the wind out of the home side's sails. With two minutes remaining, Gleb's fantastic pass picked out Ioannis Amanatidis, who lobbed Vanins before another pass from the Belarussian midfield player allowed Tiffert score his second on the stroke of full-time.