BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, August 2, 2013
Both Bryan Gerzicich and Terrence Boyd helped their respective clubs earn results away from to move into strong position in Europa League qualifying.
Pandurii 1 - 1 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hapoel Tel Aviv chances of advancing to the playoff round of Europa League qualifying are promising following a draw on the road in Romania against Pandurii.
American defensive midfielder Bryan Gerzicich started and played the full 90 for Hapoel Tel Aviv in the draw.
The game started off well for the hosts via some "Route 1" soccer. The play began when Lithuanian forward Deivydas Matulevicius headed a long ball for an on-rushing Dan Nistor who fired a shot which should have been saved by Hapoel goalkeeper Danny Amos but trickled past him and into the net.
Despite trailing away from home, however, Hapoel Tel Aviv continued to press and control the game. Their breakthrough came in the 29th minute when Brazilian Lucas Sasha fired home a beautiful bending free kick just inside the left post past Pandurii keeper Razvan Stanca to even the game at 1-1.
With the draw and the away goal, Hapoel look in strong position returning to Israel for the return leg in Tel Aviv on August 8.
Asteras Tripolis 1 - 1 Rapid Vienna
Terrence Boyd's strong run for Rapid Vienna continued after scoring against Asteras Tripolis to help earn a draw in Europa League qualifying.
Boyd scored two goals for Rapid in its season opener last weekend and went a full 90 on Thursday against Asteras.
Rapid had most of the early opportunities but it was the Greek club that scored first in the 27th minute. Georgios Zisopoulos moved behind Rapid's defense and easily volleyed home the opening goal for a 1-0 lead.
The lead lasted just five minutes when Terrence Boyd earned penalty after being elbowed in the box during a corner kick for Rapid. The US international elected to take the kick himself and converted with a powerful low shot to equalize the game at 1-1.
Rapid Vienna will aim to secure a place in the playoff round in the return leg in Vienna on August 8.