UEFA Cup: Munich, Ajax post wins

Updated: 23 September 2007 14:19 IST

Luca Toni scored in his European debut, leading Bayern Munich to a 1-0 win over Beleneses in the first round of the UEFA Cup.


Luca Toni scored in his European debut, leading Bayern Munich to a 1-0 win over Beleneses in the first round of the UEFA Cup.

Toni scored in the 34th minute of the first-leg matchup after overcoming a hamstring injury.

A long ball from Mark van Bommel beat the Portuguese offside trap, Toni controlled the ball and then scored with his left foot. Toni also missed a couple of chances earlier in the match.

The striker won the World Cup with Italy last year, but his former club Fiorentina never qualified for European play while he was there.

This season, however, Fiorentina returned to the UEFA Cup after a six-year absence and it drew 1-1 at Gronigen.

Bayern, which won the European Cup for the fourth time in 2001 and reached the quarterfinals last year, is playing in the UEFA Cup after finishing fourth in the German league last year.

Ze Roberto had his long-range shot saved after the break and Marcell Jansen and Lukas Podolski also had good attempts, but Bayern did not produce enough pressure.

Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said, "I am disappointed with the result, we wanted more.

"We wanted to create more chances but they only defended and we knew that they can do that well. They only waited for counterattacks. But we can also play well and win away from home, and they will need to do more so I think we are in a good position and have a good chance."

Bayern won the UEFA Cup in 1996 and then played in the Champions League for 10 straight seasons beginning in 1997.

The UEFA Cup featured another four-time European champion Thursday. Ajax beat Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 on a goal from Dennis Rommendahl in the 62nd minute, relegated to the second-tier event after losing to Slavia Prague in European Champions League qualifying.

It's the second successive season that Ajax was eliminated in Champions League qualifying. Both teams played a defensive game, but Ajax capitalized on a mistake from Dinamo defender Gordon Schildenfeld. He lost the ball to Rommedahl, who took the opportunity and scored.

"It was a little mistake, but a mistake that big European clubs like Ajax would always use," Dinamo's Luka Modric said.

Forty first-round, first-leg matches were played this week, with the return games set for October 2-4.

The aggregate winners progress to the group stage, in which clubs will be drawn in eight groups of five. Each club will play four games - two home and two away.

The first three clubs from each group advance to the knockout stage, where they will be joined by eight clubs who finished third in their Champions League groups.

The competition is then a knockout format until the final, which is scheduled for Manchester, England, on May 14.

Tottenham and Spartak Moscow had the most decisive wins of the night. Spurs, former a two-time champion, beat Anorthois 6-1. Jermain Defoe, in his first start of the season, scored twice with single goals also from Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson, Robbie Keane and Darren Bent.

Roman Pavluchenko scored three goals in 19 minutes for Spartak against BK Hacken, with Morais Welliton and Egor Titov completing a 5-0 victory in Moscow.

Everton drew 1-1 with Metalist Kharkiv in a dramatic match. Everton striker Andrew Johnson missed two penalty kicks and Metalist finished with nine men after Seweryn Gancarczyk and Oleksandr Babych were sent off in the 71st and 89th minutes with their second yellow card each.

With with 10 men, Metalist equalized on a goal by Venans Zeze in the 78th minute, matching the tally by Joleon Lescott in the 24th.

Galatasaray, the 2000 champion, lost 3-2 at Sion. The Swiss side led 3-0 by the 32nd minute on goals by Alvaro Dominguez, Vilmos Vanczak and Jamal Alioui. Cassio Lincoln scored for Galatasaray in the 39th, and Tobias Linderoth added another in the 67.

Another former champion, Anderlecht drew 1-1 against visiting Rapid Vienna. In other notable results, Bayer Leverkusen defeated Leira 3-1 with two goals from Steffan Kiessling, Palermo edged Mlada Boleslav 1-0, Bordeax won 3-2 at Tampere, Panathinaikos beat Artmedia 2-1, Sampdoria drew 2-2 with Aalborg, Atletico Madrid beat Erciyesspor 4-0 and Zaragoza was defeated 1-0 by Aris.

Topics : Football Luca Toni
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