Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Potters get first European victory in 37 long years

AFP, PARIS

Stoke City marked their first European tie in 37 years with a 1-0 home victory over Croatia’s Hajduk Split in their Europa League third qualifying round first-leg tie on Thursday.

Jon Walters headed the only goal of the game after three minutes at the Britannia Stadium from a Matthew Etherington cross, but Tony Pulis’ side were unable to add to their advantage with a tough second-leg tie to come.

Fulham, the previous runners-up, drew 0-0 at another Croatian side, RNK Split, with manager Martin Jol saying he was satisfied with the result.

“They had probably as much possession as we had, maybe a bit more, but nil-nil away from home against a good side — I’m not happy, but I’m satisfied,” Jol said. “They had probably three or four good chances, that is the only thing we have to work on. We didn’t do enough with the ball in their half, but we will do better at home. I expect that we will have more initiative — we have to play better to score.”

Atletico Madrid, the winners in 2009-2010, saw off Stromsgodset of Norway 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon, with former Arsenal star Jose-Antonio Reyes scoring both goals just hours after the Spaniards had sold Sergio Aguero to Manchester City for 38 million pesos (US$62 million).

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