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Ferencváros trump Tirana

Tuesday, 27 July 2004

By Dritan Ikonomi in the Qemal Stafa stadium

[1] Two last-gasp goals from Ferencvárosi TC gave them a UEFA Champions League second qualifying round first-leg victory at KF Tirana when it seemed the Albanian title-holders were heading for victory.

Mukaj winner

[2] Devis Mukaj had scored twice to overturn an early lead for the Hungarian champions, but an own goal from Tirana defender Gentian Hajdari and injury-time winner by Szabolcs Huszti, who had also opened the scoring, gave Ferencváros the edge ahead of next Wednesday's return.

Visitors ahead

[3] Ferencváros had the best of the game in the early stages, but Tirana did carve out openings, with captain Nevil Dede sending a header on goal in the fourth minute and Eldorado Merkoçi shooting wide soon after. However, four minutes before the break Hajdari pulled back Marek Penksa in the Tirana box and Huszti converted the resultant penalty.

Tirana turn tie

[4] Tirana began the second half strongly and Ervin Bulku had a long-range effort just off target. The home side levelled two minutes before the hour when Elvis Sina crossed from the right, goalkeeper Lajos Szücs blocked Mahir Halili's shot and Mukaj tapped in the rebound. Ten minutes later Mukaj scored again as he ran on to Halili's cross from the left, went past Péter Lipcsei and shot in from the edge of the area.

Home heartbreak

[5] Indrit Fortuzi then went close after a Halili pass from the left, but Tirana could not extend their lead and Ferencváros began to press for an equaliser. It came in the 88th minute thanks to the luckless Hajdari. Sina almost put Tirana back in front only for Szücs to save, and it was the visitors who ended the leg ahead after Huzsti's 20-metre shot three minutes into added time beat Isli Hidi.

Zoltán Gera was among the winning lineup in Tirana