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Dudelange pay the penalty

Thursday, 29 July 2004

By Manfred Christoph at the Stade Jos Nosbaum

[1] FK Ekranas had goalkeeper Arvydas Skrupskis to thank after he saved two penalties as the Lithuanian side beat F91 Dudelange in Luxembourg to book a place in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

Bright start

[2] The visitors started brightly, clearly not content to sit back on their 1-0 first-leg lead. Dudelange goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert was called into action as early as the fifth minute after Virginius Liubšys' men had won a corner. By contrast, Skrupskis had little to worry about apart from a speculative effort from Evariste Kabongo.

Savenas score

[3] It therefore came as little surprise when the visitors took the lead through Mantas Savenas after just seven minutes after confusion following Vitalijus Kavaliauskas' right-wing cross. Povilas Lukšys could have doubled the lead ten minutes later but was foiled by Joubert before the Luxembourg outfit were awarded a penalty against the run of play.

Penalty save

[4] After Stéphane Martine was fouled by Alfredas Skroblas, Sébastian Remy stepped up to take the penalty, but Skrupskis saved well. A minute later, the striker was given another chance but failed to control a Thomas Gruszcyznski cross.

Comeback momentum

[5] By now Michel Le Flochmoan's side had taken the initiative and again came close with a long range shot from David Cangini midway through the first half. Ten minutes later Gruszcyznski was denied by a last ditch tackle as he prepared to shoot, before Roland Saboga saw his effort sail over the crossbar when well placed.

Gardzijauskas goal

[6] Gruszcynski and Saboga also missed chances as the game moved into the second half. That proved costly and on 50 minutes Ekranas stretched their aggregate lead to 3-0 with a Egidijus Majus header from a Mindaugas Gardzijauskas free-kick on the right wing.

Spirit rewarded

[7] But the Luxembourg part-timers continued to press and after Cangini had seen an effort rebound off the post, Loïc Mouny finally scored the goal his side's performance so richly deserved. Ekranas were reduced to ten men in added time after Majus fouled in the penalty box. Skrupskis again saved the resulting spot-kick.

Ekranas goalkeeper Arvydas Skrupskis saved two penalties