RC Genk whip Turku, Cercle down Famagusta

In football, both Cercle Brugge and Racing Genk managed a win in their first legs of the third preliminary round of the Europa League. Genk look already certain to qualify after posting a comfortable win over Finland's Inter Turku. Cercle defend a one-goal lead in Cyprus next week.

KRC Genk of Limburg province travelled to Turku in Finland. Goals by promising Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (big photo), striker Marvin Ogunjimi, Israel's Elyaniv Barda (small photo) and Belgian striker Jelle Vossen (twice) gave Genk a comfortable win in Finland: 1-5. Turku were able to pull one back when they were 2-0 behind.

Genk are almost certain to qualify now, but still have to play the return leg next week. Coach Frankie Vercauteren called the win "a fantastic result. We had expected a more difficult match. You never now. But this went very smoothly."

Playmaker Thomas Buffel, a former Glasgow Rangers player, gave three assists. "Especially the third one was important. Turku had just pulled one back when we made it 3-1. We had to stay alert because at that moment, the tables could have turned. We can concentrate on the Belgian league now next week."

Dominic Foley downs Famagusta

In Bruges, Cercle Brugge had a difficult start against Famagusta of Cyprus. The visitors had more ball possession but did not create any good chances.

After the break, Cercle had more grip on the match. The home team upped the pressure and Ireland's Dominic Foley saw a header stopped by the bar. However, minutes later, he was able to score anyway after an assist by Bernt Evens. Cercle held on to the win, 1-0.

Cercle will have to defend the small lead next week in Larnaca, in Cyprus. "I think we should have scored one more goal", coach Bob Peeters told reporters. He knows that Cercle are facing a tough task. "We're not underestimating them, because it's a good team and they could possible draw profit from the heat over there."