Wise moves countered by Lipscei's leveller

Millwall 1 Ferencvaros 1
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The Independent Online

"Useless" shouted the Millwall fan at Stefan Moore, but useless won the free-kick that led to Dennis Wise scoring the Lions' first goal in their first-ever game in Europe, something that on the balance of play should have led to victory.

It was appropriate that that honour should fall to Wise, who ran the show from central midfield. His bending shot from 20 yards around the wall for the goal after 68 minutes was an excellent example of the art.

Hungarian is a notoriously difficult language to master but Wise and his cohorts certainly proved they are fast learners in continental football speak, as they dominated the first leg of this Uefa Cup first round tie.

However, Peter Lipscei's 25-yard equaliser from another set-piece in front of just 245 travelling fans, 12 minutes from time, set up an extremely awkward second leg in a fortnight.

Wise was at the heart of everything - both good and bad - that Millwall constructed. From free-kicks to fouls, the player-manager gave his side the base from which they could attack their Hungarian opposition.

The 37-year-old led by example and set up the first chance of the night after five minutes when his corner was headed towards goal by the young midfielder, Marvin Elliott. The goalkeeper Lajos Szucs did well to divert the ball wide.

Inventive as ever, it was a pity for Millwall that some of Wise's team-mates were not on his wavelength as after eight minutes he cheekily chipped the defensive wall but Neil Harris was caught unawares and failed to trap the ball 12 yards out.

From studying the men from Budapest, Wise had gathered that despite their pedigree as 28-times champions in their own country Ferencvaros would sit deep and counter-attack.

They had narrowly lost a Champions' League qualifier to Sparta Prague suggesting they would overwhelm Millwall but Wise's men were far from overawed and continued to press forward against a side with several Hungarian internationals that scarcely threatened Graham Stack's goal.

Continuing their bright start Elliott tried his luck from 30 yards but his shot was tipped over. Unafraid to keep trying their luck from distance Jody Morris, who went off injured in the first half, scuffed his shot. It ran to Stefan Moore but although unmarked he guided his shot wide from 15 yards.

Wise also showed his nasty side with a studs-up challenge that went unsanctioned but it set an example of an unsavoury nature as temperatures rose. Kevin Muscat, the Lions' captain, was on the wrong end of one such tackle before exacting revenge, earning him a yellow card.

The Hungarian champions were showing a lack of ambition, even against Millwall, who lie 16th in the Championship. But they did at last muster a shot on goal, after 53 minutes, when Daniel Tozser worried Stack briefly from long range.

How Millwall will wish that could have been the beginning and end of their efforts from distance.

Millwall (4-4-2): Stack; Muscat, Lawrence, Ward, Simpson; Elliott, Morris (Cogan, 37), Wise, Livermore; Harris (Dichio, 80), Moore (Ifill, 77). Substitutes not used: Marshall (gk), Serioux, McCammon, Sweeney.

Ferencvaros (3-5-2): Szucs; Vukmir, Gyepes, Botis; Balog (Zavadsky, 90), Kapic, Lipscei, Rosa, Kapic Tozser; Vagner (Penksa, 71), Bajevski (Sowunmi, 79). Substitutes not used: Udvaracz (gk), Kiss, de Almeida, Zovath.

Referee: D Delevic (Serbia & Montenegro).

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