Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football European

Saints in command but Bilic sees red

By Robert Jones

Published 31/07/2015

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands during his team's Europa League qualifying match with Astra Giurgiu
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands during his team's Europa League qualifying match with Astra Giurgiu

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was sent to the stands after seeing his side let a two-goal lead slip as they once again toiled with 10-men as their quest to reach the Europa League group stages lurched on.

Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate had put the Hammers well in control of their third qualifying round tie against Astra Giurgiu - before James Collins became the third player to be sent off in five games under Bilic, who was also dismissed by referee Adrien Jaccottet in the closing stages.

West Ham could not deal with their Romanian opponents who made the most of their numerical advantage as Fernando Boldrin thrashed home, with debutant Angelo Ogbonna then scoring an own goal with the match ending 2-2.

Southampton have one foot in the Europa League play-offs after a convincing 3-0 home win against Vitesse Arnhem in their third qualifying round first leg.

Graziano Pelle opened the scoring and Dusan Tadic converted a penalty to double the lead.

Substitutes Shane Long and Juanmi combined late on as Long headed home inside the six-yard box.

Meanwhile, Kenny McLean scored another crucial away goal as Aberdeen bounced back from a difficult start in Kazakhstan.

The Dons found themselves two down inside the first quarter against Kairat Almaty but McLean came off the bench to give them hope in the Europa League third qualifying round.

The former St Mirren midfielder scored his first goal for Aberdeen against Rijeka in the previous round and was on hand to fire home in the 69th minute.

And the visitors survived some late scares to escape with a 2-1 deficit ahead of next Thursday's second leg at Pittodrie.

Mikhail Bakaev and Bauyrzhan Islamkhan netted for the hosts.

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph