UEFA Cup: Espanyol beat Lokomotiv Moscow

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> Espanyol got off to a winning start in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday as the Spanish side beat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 in Group B.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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A lone goal by Raul Tamudo helped Espanyol get off to a winning start in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday as the Spanish side beat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 in Group B. Tamudo's strike in the 53rd minute ensured Espanyol took all three points from the match, as well as providing an all-important away goal. The home side were hoping the match would offer some respite from their poor run of form in the Russian Premier-Liga where they have gone five games without a win. Disappointing run But the visitors also arrived in Moscow on the back of their own disappointing domestic run, having suffered their third defeat in four league games at the weekend. It was the home side, which went on to dominate much of the first half with seven chances on goal to Espanyol's one. In the sixth minute, the hosts could have taken the lead when Aleksie Bugalev found himself with the ball, unmarked on the edge of the area. However his shot sailed just wide of the post and the match remained goalless. Missed chance Espanyol's only one real chance of the half came in the 33rd minute from a free-kick. However, the shot from Fredson Camara Pereira was well-saved by Lokomotiv goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov. Two minutes later it was Lokomotiv's turn again. But the strike from Malkhaz Asatiani was easily saved by goalie Gorka Iraizoz Moreno. Despite all their attempts, the home side were unable to score before the break and they were to rue their missed chances early in the second half. Espanyol took the lead in the 53rd courtesy of a goal from Raul Tamudo. The forward took a pass from Pablo Zabaleta and beat Ovchinnikov from 12 metres to give the visitors a one-nil advantage. Poor finishing Lokomotiv tried desperately to get the equaliser, but their finishing was poor. In the 77th minute, Francisco Lima had a chance from the wing, but the shot sailed straight to the goalkeeper rather than to his colleagues in the area. Probably the best chance for the home side came just as the final whistle was blown, deep into injury time. However, the header from Andre Bikey Omogu was well saved before hitting the post and deflecting back into the arms of goalkeeper Iraizoz. Knockout round So the match, which was the first of the group stage, ended 1-0 to the visiting side. The top three teams from each of the five-team eight groups advance to the knockout round of 32, which includes the eight third-place teams from the Champions League. The result of Wednesday's match means Espanyol lead Group B, which also includes Brondby, Maccabi Petach-Tikva and Palermo, with three points. All teams play each other once in each group. (AP)

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