Europa League round-up: Pugh strike has Stoke looking plastic fantastic
Friday 19 August 2011
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.
Latest in Sport
Phil Jagielka: I may never win back England place, says Everton defender
Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
Rio Ferdinand mocks Jamie Carragher's Liverpudlian accent... but Liverpool man hits back at Londoner
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Just like Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United, Gareth Bale says he hopes to return to Tottenham 'one day'
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes