Europa League round-up: Pugh strike has Stoke looking plastic fantastic

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was delighted with how his players overcame FC Thun's artificial pitch last night to take away a 1-0 win from the first leg of their Europa League play-off in Switzerland.

Danny Pugh's left-footed strike in the 19th minute was the difference between the sides and Thun finished the match with 10 men when goalkeeper David Da Costa was sent off in the final minute for violent conduct. His replacement, midfielder Stephan Andrist, tipped a Jonathan Walters' strike round the post to stop Stoke doing more damage.

Pulis said: "It was difficult on the Astroturf because we don't have much experience on this kind of ground. But otherwise it was a brilliant game."

The shock of the night came in Slovenia where Rangers conceded an injury-time goal to lose 2-1 to Maribor after Dejan Mezga teed up substitute Etien Velikonja, who back-heeled over the line.

It had all looked so good for the Scots who took the lead through Juan Manuel Ortiz in the first half. The Spaniard started the move by finding Kirk Broadfoot out on the right flank, before racing into the box where he was waiting to collect the return pass and flick home from six yards. Agim Ibraimi equalised after the break with a powerful left-foot shot.

Birmingham will be reasonably pleased with their goalless draw in Portugal against Nacional. But it could have been better as Chris Hughton's side hit the woodwork three times.

Gary McCabe salvaged a draw at home to Partizan Belgrade for Shamrock Rovers but Nemanja Tomic's away goal looks ominous.

At Celtic Park the home fans endured a frustrating evening as Neil Lennon's men created little against Sion and must try to advance in Switzerland on the back of a goalless draw.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links