NOVA GORICA, Jul 26 (SW) - A second-half surge with goals by Constantin Dica and Victoras Iacob guided former European champions Steaua to a 2-0 victory away to Nova Gorica in the first leg of their second qualifying round match in the Champions League.
The Romanians dominated the opening half but failed to hit the back of the net, setting the stage for Dica to strike in the 54th minute with an expertly-taken free kick that curled into the goal.
Another set piece proved the downfall of Nova Gorica 12 minutes later as Iacob jumped highest to get his head to a corner kick, beating Vasja Simcic to put Steaua firmly in control of the tie.
Liepajas Metalurgs - Dynamo Kiev 1-4
Ukraine's Dynamo Kiev have one foot in the third qualifying round after trouncing Liepajas Metalurgs away from home in the first leg.
Brazilian midfielder Diogo Rincón, who has been influential in past European campaigns for Dynamo, opened the scoring for the visitors after 21 minutes before Maksim Shatskikh doubled the advantage eight minutes later.
Latvia striker Maris Verpakovskis, who began his professional career with Metalurgs, marked his return home with a goal to make it 3-0 in the 32nd minute.
Another Latvia international, Girts Karlsons, could have pulled a goal back from the spot in the 43rd minute for Metalurgs, but his penalty was terribly taken and right at goalkeeper Olexander Shovkovskiy.
Dynamo controlled the play and extended their lead with eight minutes to go as Serbian defender Goran Gavrancic bagged Dynamo's fourth before Mindaugas Kalonas got a consolation for the hosts in the 88th minute.
Sheriff - Spartak Moscow 1-1
Moldovan champions Sheriff kept alive their outside hopes of advancing with a dramatic late equalizer against Spartak Moscow.
Sheriff did a magnificent job of fending off their Russian opponents for 76 minutes until Radoslav Kovac managed to break the deadlock with a deflection off a free kick, giving Spartak a crucial away goal in the tie.
The away goal would turn out to be their only advantage, though, as Razak Omotoyossi grabbed an injury-time equalizer after a spill by goalkeeper Wojciech Kowalewski to give Sheriff a glimmer of hope heading into the second leg in Moscow.
Cork City - Crvena Zvezda 0-1
Turner's Cross was in festive mood on Wednesday as the Republic of Ireland champion Cork City hosted former European champion Crvena Zvezda, but the Serbians came out on top thanks to an own goal.
With many scouting big Serbian forward Nikola Zigic, Cork forward Denis Behan took the stage for all the wrong reasons in the 37th minute when he misguided a Crvena Zvezda corner into his own goal.
Captain Dan Murray had an equalizer denied by the crossbar, and the Serbs mainly sat back in the second half to defend their away-goal advantage with the return leg next week in Belgrade.
Mladá Boleslav - Vålerenga 3-1
Champions League debutants Mladá Boleslav got off to a blazing start before Vålerenga pegged back late, although the Czechs came out with a first-leg win.
Boleslav, who finished a surprise second to Slovan Liberec last season, started off in amazing style as Lubos Pecka gave the home side the lead within seven minutes of the opening whistle.
Marek Matejovsky then stole the show, amazing extending the home side's lead to 3-0 with two goals before the clock had showed 20 minutes played.
Vålerenga, who lasted season famously ended Rosenborg's stranglehold on the Norwegian domestic game, were gifted what could be a vital away goal in the 67th minute as Boleslav's Frantisek Sevinsky directed the ball into his own net.
FH Hafnarfjördur - Legia 0-1
Icelandic part-timers FH thought they had secured a fantastic result at home in the second qualifying round, but a late goal snatched victory for Polish side Legia.
FH and Legia were scoreless through 83 minutes of the game before Brazilian striker Elton Brandão grabbed a dramatic winner to dent the hopes of the islanders.
The two sides meet again next week in Warsaw with the winner advancing to possibly play a European giant in the third qualifying round.
|Ligue 1 Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Lille|
|UAE Pro League Wrap: Al Ahli extend lead, Al Shaab earn rare win|
|Lambert seeks more Villa away success|
|Sunderland will have ´no excuses´ for Norwich failure, says Poyet|
|Hughton hails Poyet impact|
|Pardew anticipating difficult Palace clash|
|UEFA provisionally ban three clubs from European competition|
|La Liga Preview: Valencia v Real Madrid|
|Valdes to keep new club quiet|
|Allardyce urges West Ham to expose United frailties|
|Bruce bemoans Brady injury|
|Laudrup rules out Tottenham switch|
|Premier League Preview: Swansea City v Everton|
|Benitez is ´a lucky charm´, says De Laurentiis|
|Stoke wait on Shawcross fitness|
|Koscielny to miss out on Chelsea clash|
|Liverpool owner hails Suarez deal as sign of club´s progress|
|Moyes reveals Nani setback|
|Schweinsteiger to return in January|
|Thohir not worried ahead of derby|
|Mourinho eyes defensive improvements|
|Pellegrini optimistic on Zabaleta return|
|Gourcuff reveals contract refusal|
|Suarez pens new long-term Liverpool deal|
|Klopp predicts tough Hertha battle|
|Dempsey has medical ahead of Fulham return|
|Bruce sympathetic to Mackay situation|
|A-League: Brisbane Roar 0 Newcastle Jets 2|
|Celtic´s Lustig set to miss four months|
|Messi blasts Barca official|
|Redknapp slams Villas-Boas´ signings|
|Atalanta out to continue home record|
|Phillips poised for January Palace exit|
|Dembele: Spurs ´positive´ about Sherwood appointment|
|Benitez predicts busy January at Napoli|
|Kerslake expects Mackay to be in charge for Liverpool game|
|Lowe given Glory role|
|Baines set for Everton return|
|Pedro keen on emulating Iniesta|
|Pochettino not interested in January purchases|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Iajour up for Bayern test|
|Martinez seeking ´short-term solutions´ in transfer window|
|Kompany urges City to remain focused|
|Rodgers glad he avoided Tottenham|
|Del Piero in line to take on Juventus in Australia|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Valencia scrape through, Bilbao thrash Celta|
|Primeira Liga: Maritimo 2 Braga 2|
|Galliani to stay at Milan|
|Klopp plays down Club World Cup|
|Schalke coach Keller not fearing the sack|
|Wilshere loses appeal against two-match ban|
|Zaha on Pardew´s radar|
|Milan will be my final club, says Abbiati|
|Anigo to remain at Marseille helm for time being|
|Premier League Preview: West Brom v Hull City|
|No Bankia involvement in Bale deal, says Perez|
|Galliani wants stronger Milan youth system|
|Rafinha extends Bayern contract|
|Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Aston Villa|
|Poyet: No excuse not to perform|
|Vanishing spray to be used at World Cup|
|Gabbidon praises Palace strike pair|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester United v West Ham|
|Hughton calls for Norwich City to show character|
|Premier League Preview: Fulham v Manchester City|
|Samaras attracting Lazio interest|
|Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Cardiff City|
|Rodgers backs Mackay at Cardiff|
|Foster back fit and raring for West Brom recall|
|De Boer agent denies Tottenham contact|
|Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Newcastle United|
|Hungary appoint Pinter as new coach|
|Iniesta signs new Barca contract|
|Rodgers coy over Suarez talks|
|Jagielka hopes for fresh faces at Everton to help top-four push|
|A-League: Central Coast 1 Wellington 0|
|Spain end top of FIFA rankings for sixth year running|
|Allardyce disappointed to draw Manchester City|
|Pascoe hails ´unbelievable´ Suarez|
|Vorm knee surgery brought forward|
|Blanc hails Cavani brace|
|Michu wants Aspas to join Swansea City|
|Hoeness plays down Bayern treble suggestions|
|Dzeko confident he can fill Aguero void|
|Moyes: No loan offers for Zaha|
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|
|Tottenham job appeals to Sherwood|
|Sherwood gutted after defeat|
|Hughes: United worthy winners|
|Moyes pleased to see United weather storm|
|Allardyce hails West Ham fight|
|Coppa Italia: Juventus 3 Avellino 0|
|Manchester clubs kept apart in League Cup semi draw|
|League Cup: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2|
|League Cup: Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1|
|Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan abandoned due to heavy rain|
|United face anxious Rooney wait over injury|
|Messi making good progress|
|Ramos ban overturned|
|Osvaldo charged by FA|
|In-demand Ince offered new Blackpool deal|
|Molde confirm Solskjaer approaches|
|Kramer keen to continue home record|
|Rodgers: Henderson has potential to get even better|
|Ruiz on Anderlecht´s radar|
|Swansea, Hull fined by FA over player behaviour|
|Leeds keen on re-signing Gradel|
|Leverkusen announce Ryu deal|
|Ribery named Bundesliga Player of the Year|
|Moyes: No Zaha interest|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid in European Commission investigation|
|Basel: No Tottenham approach for Yakin|
|Chelsea set for Guarin bid, agent claims|
|Lewandowski has Dortmund goal concerns|
|Pogba, Pirlo will not sign before Christmas, says Marotta|
|Guardiola convinced to join Bayern after ´meat´ and greet|
|Martinez: Everton seen as a ´perfect´ loan destination|
|Anderlecht ´perfect´ for Defour, says Van Holsbeeck|
|Watford appoint Sannino|
|Sakho feels ´lucky´ to play with Suarez|
|Lippi: Too many teams competing in Club World Cup|
|Moyes ´told Welbeck to learn from Rooney´|
|I would kill myself over match-fixing, says Gattuso|
|Hughes dismisses calls for Januzaj protection|
|Aguero ´could miss up to two months´|
|Guardiola lauds Ballon d´Or nominee Ribery|
|Liverpool open Suarez contract talks|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Barcelona, Levante cruise through|
|A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart|
|Pearson upbeat despite Leicester defeat|
|Poyet urges Sunderland to build on Chelsea win|
|Mourinho rues missed chances|