Former European champions Steaua Bucharest began their UEFA Champions League campaign in style on Tuesday in the second qualifying round.
The Romanian title holders have fallen from grace somewhat on the continental stage since lifting the old European Cup in 1986, but their dreams of a lengthy run in this season's competition are very much alive after a 3-0 first-leg victory at home to Macedonia’s Vardar.
Cristian Tanase gave them the perfect start after just 12 minutes, before their advantage was doubled by midfielder Mihai Doru Pintilii nine minutes later.
Vardar battled hard but were the masters of their own downfall when goalkeeper Igor Pavlovic turned the ball into his own net in first-half injury time, giving the visitors plenty to do in the second leg if they are to progress.
In Borisov, BATE saw their hopes of repeating last season's run to the group stages suffer a blow as they were on the wrong end of a shock 1-0 home defeat to Shakhter Karagandy of Kazakhstan.
The Belarusian outfit were one of just two sides to beat eventual winners Bayern Munich in the 2012-13 competition, triumphing 3-1 in Minsk before ultimately exiting at the group stage.
However, they were no match for the Kazakh champions on Tuesday as Sergei Khizhnichenko's low shot beat goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov for the only goal three minutes before half time.
There were no such worries for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, who are all but assured of progression to the third qualifying round after establishing a 5-0 lead in the first leg against Fola Esch of Luxembourg.
After a slow start, the visitors upped the pace after the interval, scoring all their goals in the second half courtesy of a double from Algerian striker Hilal Soudani as well as strikes from Duje Cop, Arijan Ademi and Junior Fernandes.
There was also an emphatic win for Dinamo Tbilisi, who thumped Faorese minnows EB/Streymur 6-1 in the first leg at the Boris Paichadze National Stadium in Georgia, while Hafnarfjordur will take a narrow 1-0 advantage back to Iceland for their second leg against Ekranas.
Petur Vidarsson's 30th-minute header proved the difference between the two sides, but Hafnarfjordur were forced to ride their luck as the hosts hit the woodwork three times.
There is still everything to play for between Sheriff of Moldova and Montenegro's Sutjeska after a 1-1 first-leg draw in Triaspol, while Maltese outfit Birkirkara were held 0-0 at home by Maribor.
Czech champions Viktoria Plzen secured a first-leg advantage but may ultimately rue conceding three away goals as they edged a seven-goal thriller 4-3 against Bosnians Zeljeznicar.
In a remarkable game, all the goals came in the second half, but Pavel Vrba's side ultimately seized a narrow lead to take into the away fixture courtesy of Czech defender Frantisek Rajtoral's 81st-minute strike.
|10||C. Tănase||12' 28'|
|77||Adrian Popa I|
|Coach: L. Reghecampf|
for N. Stanciu 57'
for S. Nikolić 60'
for C. Tănase 68'
|Sinclair enjoying ´one of the best pre-seasons´|
|Spiranovic surgery a success|
|Seattle Sounders 0 Los Angeles Galaxy 3: First-half blitz fires Californians to victory|
|Lemina thrilled with Bielsa effect|
|Bayern´s Green chomping at the bit|
|Palace complete US tour with easy win|
|Simeone: Atleti´s La Liga triumph was no fluke|
|Carragher: Liverpool didn´t want me|
|Sturridge: ´I´ll step up´|
|Van Gaal: Formation gives United flexibility|
|Mathieu insists age is no barrier|
|Martinez the deal sealer, says Besic|
|Coaches embrace blockbuster Serie A start|
|Ronaldinho to leave Atletico Mineiro|
|Lorient capture Ayew|
|Celtic loan Berget, sell Watt|
|Pires signs up for Indian Super League|
|Allegri set for early San Siro reunion in maiden Juve campaign|
|Bakayoko makes Monaco move|
|Bakayoko makes Monaco move|
|Lens granted Ligue 1 place|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Red-hot Salzburg face Qarabag|
|Parma bring in Cassani from Fiorentina|
|De Vrij set for Lazio|
|BREAKING NEWS: Everton complete Besic signing|
|Kongolo pens Feyenoord extension|
|Redknapp confirms Granero exit|
|Advocaat confirmed as Serbia coach|
|CSL Preview: Henan aim to escape drop zone, Liaoning host Guangzhou RandF|
|Arribas makes Sevilla switch|
|Chambers joins Arsenal|
|Ospina buoyed by Arsenal recruitment|
|Liverpool´s loss is our gain, says Redknapp on Remy|
|Ferdinand: I would still be at United with Giggs in charge|
|Pepe targets Super Cup glory|
|Martinez prioritising striker signing|
|Perez not looking to leave Benfica|
|Klopp itching to work with full Dortmund squad|
|Mourinho: It feels like Drogba never left|
|FIFA asks for FIGC review into alleged racist remark|
|Hull to review Maguire deal|
|Wenger prepared to gamble on Chambers|
|Atletico agree Griezmann deal|
|Irvine planning further striker addition|
|Campbell: Black professionals scared to talk about racism|
|Mata backs Herrera to star in Premier League|
|Injured Rafael returning to Manchester|
|Schmidt demands more from Leverkusen|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Defensor Sporting banking on home record|
|Remy´s Liverpool move off, confirms Rodgers|
|Inzaghi demands nastiness from Milan|
|MLS Review: Timbers triumph in Montreal, Dallas thwart Vancouver|
|Jovetic ready to lead City line - Pellegrini|
|Lewandowski impresses Ribery, Alaba|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Three clubs remain perfect, Atletico Nacional get off the mark|
|Rodgers: ´We can score goals´ without Suarez|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: Canales brace powers Universidad Chile|
|Atletico Madrid need penalties to edge past Earthquakes|
|Liga MX Review: Monterrey, America stay perfect|
|Paraguayan Primera Division Review: Capiata set pace|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Cruzeiro win again, Kaka scores|
|Sterling goal sees Liverpool past Olympiacos|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Los Caimanes notch maiden win, Inti Gas claim top spot|
|CAF Champions League Review: Zamalek held, Vita Club leave it late|
|Jovetic at the double as Manchester City thrash Milan|
|Monk thrilled by Sigurdsson contribution|
|Lovren signs for Liverpool|
|Mourinho pleased with Olimpija test|
|Vertonghen eager to remain at Spurs|
|Sigurdsson marks Swansea return with a brace|
|Lewandowski, Rode help Bayern retain Telekom Cup|
|Immobile scores and suffers injury in Dortmund win|
|Costa scores on Chelsea debut|
|CAF Confederation Cup Review: Leopards de Dolisie 1 Real Bamako 2|
|Thai Premier League Review: Buriram pull clear, Police edge away from danger|
|Falcao nears Monaco return|
|CSL Review: Harbin Yiteng produce another upset, Evergrande stretch lead|
|Britton and Emnes to miss season-opener|
|Taylor-Fletcher strike sinks Everton|
|J.League Review: Chasing pack close on Urawa Reds, Tokushima Vortis secure rare win|
|Ancelotti expects fresh Bale to be even better|
|Simeone keen on Griezmann|
|Mazzarri refuses to set Inter targets|
|Lazio director targeted by fans|
|Dyche rules out Deeney move|
|Rummenigge: Bayern will never sack Guardiola|
|BREAKING NEWS: Arsenal to bring in Ospina|
|Pochettino quiet on Schneiderlin link|
|Vidic settling into Inter life|
|Van Gaal hints at Zaha United future|
|Di Maria will report for training - Ancelotti|
|Wilshere vows to answer critics|
|Rodgers expecting titles|
|Deila demands Celtic cutting edge|
|Rodgers: We won´t rush Lallana|
|Wenger: We have to be better against top-level teams|
|FIGC presidential candidate uses racist slur|
|MLS Review: Columbus claim second straight win, Toronto falter|
|Villa battle past Dynamo in Houston|
|United more efficient, says Garcia|
|Pedestrian Tottenham edge past Chicago Fire|
|Van Gaal bemoans display|
|CS Sfaxien 1 ES Tunis 0: Troussier era opens with a win|
|Icardi stars from the spot as Inter overcome Real Madrid|
|Arsenal upstaged by Red Bulls|
|Pre-Season Friendly Review: Rooney stars for United, Bayern reach Telekom final|
|In-form Rooney inspires Manchester United win|