Premier League sides Southampton and West Ham experienced mixed fortunes in the opening week of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
Southampton made a convincing stride towards the group stage with a convincing 3-0 win over Vitesse – Graziano Pelle and substitute Shane Long netting either side of a Dusan Tadic penalty.
West Ham appeared to be coasting to a similarly commanding home-leg victory when Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate put them 2-0 up against Astra.
But Valencia departed with an apparently serious knee injury before James Collins collected a second booking in the 59th minute to become the third West Ham player to be sent off in five Europa League qualifying games.
A rasping strike from Fernando Boldrin gave the Romanian team a vital away goal and then levelled the tie when West Ham debutant Angelo Ogbonna put through his own goal eight minutes from time.
Serie A side Sampdoria are heading for elimination after suffering a humiliating 4-0 loss against Serbian team Vojvodina.
Playing in the tournament after city rivals Genoa withdrew their UEFA license appeal regarding the shared Stadio Luigi Ferraris not being up to code, Sampdoria fell behind in their ‘home’ leg at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico when Mirko Ivanic crashed home a fourth-minute drive.
Aleksandar Stanisavljevic struck early in the second half and Sampdoria’s misery was complete when Ognjen Ozegovic rounded off a brace in stoppage time.
Javier Eraso hit a double of his own as Athletic Bilbao won 2-0 at home to Inter Baku, while AZ provided an Eredivisie success story as they overcame Basaksehir by the same scoreline.
Borussia Dortmund won their first match under Thomas Tuchel thanks to Jonas Hofmann’s 14th minute strike at Wolfsberger, although their Austrian opponents pressed hard to overturn a 1-0 deficit during the second period.
Ligue 1 duo Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux were 3-0 winners away at Tirgu Mures and at home to AEK Larnaca respectively.
The game between Kukesi and Legia Warsaw was abandoned after 51 minutes with the Polish side 2-1 to the good.
Midfielder Ondrej Duda fell to the turf while celebrating the away side’s second goal, having been apparently struck by an object thrown from the crowd. Around 20 minutes after the incident, UEFA’s match delegate called the game off.
Rubin Kazan completed a thrilling 3-2 win at Sturm Graz, with Igor Portnyagin scoring a 61st-minute winner after the Austrian side twice came from behind.
Three second-half goals gave Rosenborg victory at Debrecen by the same margin.
Kairat Almaty, Elfsborg, Altach, Slovan Liberec, Standard Liege and Belenenses were all 2-1 winners over Aberdeen, Odd, Vitoria Guimaraes, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, Zeljeznicar Sarajevo and IFK Goteborg respectively.
There were 2-0 wins at home for FK Krasnodar over Slovan Bratislava, MSK Zilina against Vorskla Poltava and Hajduk Split versus Stromsgodset.
Zorya Luhansk triumphed at Charleroi by the same scoreline and Atromitos were 3-1 winners following a lengthy trip to AIK of Sweden.
PAOK Salonika and Rabotnicki won 1-0 at home to Spartak Trnava and Trabzonspor respectively, while Dinamo Minsk did likewise at FC Zurich.
The games between Thun and Vaduz and Brondby and Omonia Nicosia finished goalless, while Apollon Limassol and FK Qabala drew 1-1 ahead of next week’s second legs.
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