Liviu Antal was the hero again as FC Žalgiris needed his late strike to defeat Liechtenstein side Vaduz in the UEFA Europa league second qualifying round first leg match in Vilnius, LFF stadium.
Antal scored the only goal in the game Elvis Žaldaris photo
Žalgiris were aggressive in the attack in the first half and had the best chance on 27 minutes after twice stealing the ball from the opponents, but Antal dragged his strike wide when through on the goalkeeper. Three minutes later Tomaš Šimkovič’s curler went just past the top corner.
Vaduz defeated Levski in the first round and the Swiss Challenge league team showed their ability after the break. A long shot was parried by Žalgiris goalkeeper Džiugas Bartkus and the guests had a corner, which resulted in Sandro Wieser heading on to the post.
Žalgiris came back in to the game in the last 30 minutes, having a number of opportunities. Mamadou Mbodj headed over, Antal’s shot in the box was blocked by the defense, while Louis Ogana blasted over the bar.
With four minutes remaining Žalgiris finally got their goal. A slick combination found Donovan Slijngard on the left who crossed for Antal, who produced a superb one touch finish.
The second leg will be played on August 2nd in Vaduz. The winners of the tie is likely to face Sevilla FC - who defeated Újpest FC 4:0 in the first match - on August 9th and 16th in the third qualfiying round.
FC Žalgiris – FC Vaduz 1:0 (0:0).
Goal: 86 min. L. Antal
Bookings: 57 min. S.Blagojevič („Žalgiris“) 31 min. M.Mathys, 58 min. G. Luchinger („Vaduz“).
Referee: I.Vad (Vengrija).
FC Žalgiris: D.Bartkus, D.Slijngard, M.Tomič, M.Mbodj, R.Baravykas, S.Blagojevič, J.Manzorro (77 min. D. Šimkus), T.Šimkovič (62 min. S.Nyuadzi), S.Mikoliūnas, L.Antal, L. Ogana (84 min. T.Malec). Substitutes: A.Vitkauskas, L.Klimavičius, V. Filipov, Marquinhos.
FC Vaduz: A.Hirzel, S. Vitija, C. Drazan, M. Coulibaly, M. Gajic, M.Mathys (46 min. G. Luchinger), S. Wieser, M.Brunner (74 min. J.Dossou), P. Muntwiler, M. Goppel, I. Tadič. Substitutes: B. Buchel, A.Sele, N. Frick, M. Buhler, B. Babic.