Aston Villa, Stuttgart come back to win in UEFA Cup

September 19th, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Hamburg, Sep 19 (DPA) English Premier League side Aston Villa Thursday came from behind to beat a nine-man Litex Lovech side 3-1 in a first leg, first round UEFA Cup match.In another game Thursday, German Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart alo came from behind to beat another Bulgarian club, Cherno More Varna.

Stuttgart fell behind three minutes from the break when Tanko Dyakov scored with a header from a Yordan Yurukov header.

The visitors were much stronger in the second 45 minutes as they managed to pull two goals back to be in an excellent position ahead of the replay in a fortnight.

Both goals were scored by German international Mario Gomez. The striker equalised for his side in the 66th minute when he managed to push the ball over the line from a close distance. He added a second nine minutes from the end after being set-up by Ludovic Magnin.

In Lovech the home side scored first through Ivelin Popov in the 10th minute with a free-kick, that eluded friend and foe alike and then slipped past Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

The home side had a strong penalty appeal turned down five minutes later, shortly before Gareth Barry’s headed goal for Villa was ruled off for offside.

Lovech should then have gone ahead just before the break after Wilfried Niflore went around Friedel, only to see his shot hit the side-netting.

They were penalised for their miss a minute before the break when Nigel Reo-Coker scored after a mistake by Lovech goalkeeper Uros Golubovic.

On the hour the home side were reduced to ten men when Cedric Cambon was sent off for a second bookable offence. 12 minutes later they had Mihail Venkov red carded for a handball on the line.

Barry scored from the resultant spotkick.

Villa were always going to be too strong for their nine-men opponents and scored a third in the final minute through Bulgarian Stiliyan Petrov, whose first shot was saved by Golubovic, but the goalkeeper was unable to do anything with the rebound.

In another UEFA Cup game FC Copenhagen scored a goal in the dying moments of the game to beat FC Moscow 2-1 in Russia.

Morten Nordstrand opened the scoring for the visitors three minutes into injury time in the first half with a converted penalty after being fouled in the area by Mariusz Jop.

Aleksandr Samedov thought he had scored a late equalizer for Moscow two minutes into second half injury time, but substitute Libor Sionko found an unlikely winner for his side three minutes later.

The winners of the two-legged ties advance to the group phase of the competition.

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