AA Gent give AS Rome a scare

AA Gent has given AS Rome a scare, but only for a short while. The Ghent football club finally lost 3-1 in Rome's Olympic stadium in the Europe League. Club Brugge only managed a 3-2 win in the dying minutes of their game against Finland's Lahti. The returns are next week.
AA Gent had drawn the toughest possible opponent for their third-round match in the Europe League. The Buffaloes, who took fourth place in the Belgian league last season, flew to Italy to face AS Rome as underdogs with nothing to lose.
AA Gent let the home team do most of the work and played well on the counter-attack. This resulted in a surprise lead after 22 minutes when Senegal's Mbaye Leye scored.

Gent were still leading at the break, with the 700 Ghent fans in the stadium dreaming of a shock victory.

Rome upped the pressure after the break. It was star player Francesco Totti who turned the tables with a deflected free kick and a penalty. Substitute Mirko Vucinic added a third one for AS Rome, when Ghent were down to ten men after left back Kenny Thompson had received two yellow cards.

Ghent haven't given up their hopes of a surprise win next week in the return match, and keep dreaming of qualifying for the final preliminary round thanks to their away goal.

Club Brugge down Lahti

Club Brugge played their first important match of the season yesterday, receiving Finland's Lahti. Club Brugge only entered the Europe League in the third round.
Club Brugge started as the favourites and were aiming for a large win to be able to travel to Finland next week without worries.

However, Lahti went ahead ahead early in the first half. Joseph Akpala equalised and midfielder Johathan Blondel put Brugge ahead, but the home team had to swallow a second goal early in the second half.

It was again Blondel who gave Brugge a victory in the last minutes with a thundering shot. Club Brugge's new Dutch coach, Adrie Koster, was not happy with the two Finnish goals, but has good hopes of qualifying his team next week. "We will have to score a goal there, though", he said.