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Ventspils hit prime form

FK Ventspils 3-0 FC Lugano
Latvian champions produce a fine attacking display.

FK Ventspils 3-0 FC Lugano
Latvian champions FK Ventspils produced a splendid performance to send UEFA Cup qualifying round visitors FC Lugano back to Switzerland on the wrong end of a three-goal first-leg scoreline.

In control
Two goals after the interval put the home side in control of their destiny, as they look to make progress to the UEFA Cup first round.

Even first half
In an even first half, Evgueni Landyrev had an early chance, forcing an excellent save from Stefano Razzetti in the Lugano goal. However, Ventspils were eventually to tilt the balance their way.

Close-range finish
They took the lead when Sergey Zangareev's run down the right produced a cross, and Landyrev popped up to finish from close range. Vits Rimkus went agonisingly close soon afterwards for the home side, while Ventspils goalkeeper Deniss Romanovs pulled off a fine save to deny Alberto Regazzoni at the other end.

Two more made by Zangareev
Having created the opener, Zangareev continued to look dangerous, and he also made Ventspils' second goal, crossing for Rimkus to head home. The Latvians' third goal also emerged from Zangareev, when another of his fine crosses found the tall Landyrev to find the target with a header.

Happy Ashworth
Delighted Ventspils coach Paul Ashworth said after the match: "It is a fantastic result. We played a great match, but it does not guarantee our passage through to the next round. I would be OK with a 2-0 defeat in Lugano, but we will be going there to win."

'Still a hope'
Lugano coach Pierluigi Tami was a disappointed man, but he has not conceded the tie yet. "We should have at least scored a goal," he said. "We did not take our chances. But we will do everything possible to deal with this deficit at home. There is still a hope."