Northern round-up: A 6-0 win for Helsingborgs IF with two goals for Henrik Larsson was one of the highlights of a fine night for Sweden's UEFA Cup challengers.
BK Häcken's 1-1 draw at home against KR Reykjavík took some of the shine off a fine night for Swedish clubs in the northern section of the UEFA Cup first qualifying round. AIK Solna earned a terrific 5-0 win at Northern Irish side Glentoran FC while Henrik Larsson scored twice as Helsingborgs IF won 6-0 at home against JK Trans Narva. However, the biggest winners of the night were Norway's SK Brann, 8-0 at Carmarthen Town AFC with Scotsman Robert Winters scoring a first-half hat-trick.
Helsingborgs IF 6-0 JK Trans Narva
Larsson made an inspiring return to European club competition, scoring twice as Helsingborg drubbed their Estonian guests. The Swedish side scored twice in the space of two first-half minutes through Razak Omotoyossi and Andreas Dahl before Larsson struck a quick double after the interval. There was still time for Olivier Karekesi and Christoffer Andersson to make their mark in the closing stages as Helsingborg took a confident step toward the second qualifying round.
Glentoran FC 0-5 AIK Solna
Glentoran's hopes of a place in the second qualifying round are all but extinguished after a heavy loss in Belfast. Wilton Figueiredo's deflected shot gave their Swedish guests a 25th-minute lead and the Brazilian striker scored a second after half-time. Glentoran defender Gary Smyth then hit the bar before substitute Lucas Valdemarin scored from an acute angle to make it 3-0 to AIK. Goals from Khairi Stephenson and Dulee Johnson completed the scoring.
BK Häcken 1-1 KR Reykjavík
Having qualified for the competition via the Fair Play system despite being relegated from the Swedish Allsvenskan last season, Häcken face an uncomfortable second leg trip to Iceland following an inconclusive first leg against KR. A goal within the first 15 minutes from Mats Hedén gave the hosts something to build on, but they were pegged back midway through the second period as Gudmundur Peturssen found the target for KR. With a home crowd behind them in the return fixture, the Reykjavik side could sense an upset.
B36 Tórshavn 1-3 FK Ekranas
The Lithuanian side helped themselves to three away goals in Torshavn as they left B36 with a mountain to climb in the second leg. Povilas Lukšys put Ekranas ahead within the first 20 minutes although their Faroese hosts struck back through Ingid Højsted before the interval. A Gediminas Paulauskas goal sent Ekranas in at the break a goal to the good, and Moldovan striker Serghei Pogreban added a third in the second half to leave B36 needing at least three goals to progress in the return fixture.
SP Libertas 1-1 Drogheda United FC
Libertas became the first team from San Marino to avoid defeat in a UEFA club competition game, coming from behind against Drogheda. Libertas goalkeeper Michele Ceccoli kept his side on track with two great saves during the first half but could not prevent Eammon Zayed opening the scoring in the 43rd minute. Libertas levelled with 15 minutes remaining as Federico Santini found Federico Nanni with a defence-splitting pass and the forward made no mistake from close range with a precise left-footed shot.
Rhyl FC 3-1 FC Haka
The Welsh side came from behind to earn only their second win in nine European fixtures and leave them well placed for their second-leg trip to Finland. Nine-time Finnish champions Haka were a goal to the good through Toni Lehtinen within 15 minutes, but Rhyl kept their heads. Andrew Moran levelled after 27 minutes with a shot from the edge of the area and they went in at the break 2-1 up with Lee Hunt finding the target. Craig Garside made it 3-1 just two minutes into the second half, scoring his first goal for the club from Stuart Graves' cross.
Carmarthen Town AFC 0-8 SK Brann
Brann pulled off the biggest win of the night in Wales. The game was all but decided by half-time, with Winters scoring his first goal inside ten minutes before completing his hat-trick after team-mate Thorstein Helstad had scored twice. There was no relief for the home side after the interval, with Kristján Sigurdsson and Jan Gunnar Solli scoring to make it 7-0 before Neil Smothers was dismissed for the hosts. Ármann Björnsson claimed Brann's eighth of the night in the closing seconds.
FC Flora 0-1 Vålerenga IF
Rune Lange's goal after half an hour gave the Norwegian side an important advantage over their Estonian rivals. Allan Jepsen's cross from the left found Jan Sørensen whose right-footed shot took a decisive deflection off Lange's foot to beat goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu. Vålerenga dominated throughout but did not create many real chances. The hosts almost made them pay in the closing stages as Martin Taska's cross found Jarmo Ahjupera unmarked in the area, but the giant forward's shot glanced off the crossbar before sailing into the stands.
Myllykosken Pallo-47 1-0 EB/Streymur
Faroese challengers EB/Streymur came within 13 minutes of earning a draw on their European debut only for striker Mikko Hyyrynen to spare MyPa's blushes with a 77th-minute winner. The Finnish side dominated possession but failed to find the target leaving nerves jangling in Anjalankoski. Hyyrynen's effort might have opened the floodgates, but EB/Streymur stuck to their task in defence and will be hoping to cause a few more problems when they host the return fixture.
Dungannon Swifts FC 1-0 FK Sūduva
Teenager Mark McAllister struck the only goal of the game in the 18th minute, finishing well from an assist by summer signing Shea Campbell. McAllister, who turned down a move to Scottish giants Celtic FC in the close season, set up another chance for Campbell but he could not find the net, while Michael Hegarty had a shot saved for the UEFA Cup debutants. The best opportunity for the Lithuanian visitors was volleyed wide by Augusto Braga.
Lillestrøm SK 2-1 UN Käerjéng 97
The side from Luxembourg left Norway with their tails up after a late Pål Steffen Andersen own goal kept them very much in with a chance. Tom Nordlie's side went ahead after 19 minutes as Olivier Occean headed in Dan Anton Johansen's cross and Arild Sundgot added a second from the penalty spot just before half-time after Bjørn Helge Riise had been brought down in the box. The home side failed to press their advantage and Käerjéng got a lucky break as Andersen put through his own net seven minutes from time.
FHK Liepajas Metalurgs 1-1 FC Dinamo Brest
A mistake by goalkeeper Viktors Spole gave Brest a precious away goal in Latvia. Metalurgs took the lead in the first five minutes as Pavels Surnins' lofted ball into the area was headed in by Brazilian central defender Antonio Ferreira, but the home side failed to capitalise on their early break. Spole was left blushing late in the game as Viktor Sokol's long-range effort somehow eluded him, and the visitors could have added to their hosts' misery, creating a number of chances in the closing stages.
Keflavík 3-2 FC Midtjylland
Keflavík were celebrating a notable Icelandic success after coming from two goals down to earn a 3-2 win against their Danish visitors. The game looked to be slipping away from the hosts as Moldovan striker Serghei Dadu and German defender Kolja Afriyie scored within the first 20 minutes for Midtjylland, but Keflavík were level by half-time with Símun Samuelsen and Thórarinn Kristjánsson on target. Faroese striker Samuelsen then won the day for the hosts with a goal eleven minutes into the second period.
Saint Patrick's Athletic FC 0-0 Odense BK
St Patrick's were thankful for some superb defending as they held the Danish side at Richmond Park. The home strike-force of Mark Quigley and Ryan Guy were given little chance to threaten OB goalkeeper Arek Onyszko as the visitors posed more danger. It took a last-gasp tackle from captain Darragh Maguire to prevent Kim Christensen from opening the scoring on 68 minutes while the Dublin side's custodian Barry Ryan pulled off a superb save to deny Johan Absalonsen two minutes from time. The hosts' best chance came just before half-time when defender Stephen Paisley headed just wide.
HJK Helsinki 2-0 FC Etzella Ettelbrück
A goal in second half added time from Sebastian Sorsa gave HJK a great boost ahead of the second leg in Luxembourg. HJK created plenty of chances but English coach Keith Armstrong was left frustrated by their inability to put the ball into the net. Gambian striker Dawda Bah, playing on loan from second division KPV Kokkola, scored midway through the first half to set HJK on their way but the visitors' defensive tactics looked set to keep the home side at bay until Sorsa's late intervention.
Skonto FC 1-1 FC Dinamo Minsk
The tie looked too close to call before kick-off and both sides were left none the wiser at full time as the Belarussian visitors left Riga with a draw. Dinamo's Slovakian striker Róbert Rák collected a ball from the right before calmly shooting past Andrejs Piedels from 12 metres early in the game but Skonto were on level terms before the break, with winger Aleksandrs Cauna crossing for Latvia team-mate Andrejs Pereplotkins to beat Gennadi Tumilovich from close range.