Romania international striker CIPRIAN MARICA of Vfb Stuttgart is chased by Norway international midfielder THOMAS HOLM (4) of FK Molde at the waterfront Aker Stadion in Molde. The now 24-year-old Marica cost Vfb Stuttgart the existing club record 8.0 million Euros when purchased from Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk back in the summer of 2007. (Svein Ove Ekornesvag/Scanpix/AFP)
UEFA Europa League
third round qualifying, first leg
2 – FK Molde (NOR) ———— Mostrom 65′, Hoseth 76′
3 – Vfb Stuttgart (GER) ——- Rudy 27′, Kuzmanovic 74′, Harnik 82′
Austria international substitute striker MARTIN HARNIK, a summer signing from Werder Bremen, spared VFB STUTTGART’s blushes with a game-winning-goal literally just a few minutes after coming on in the UEFA Europa League third round qualifying, first leg match in Norway.
Twice a plucky FK MOLDE side managed to pull level in the second half with the youthful Bundesliga line-up; inattentive defending and indecisive goalkeeping by 21-year-old SVEN ULREICH, replacing the recently retired World Cup veteran Jens Lehmann for Vfb Stuttgart, were cited as culprits in the German press.
Serbia World Cup midfielder ZDRAVKO KUZMANOVIC scored the visitors’ second goal off a set-piece from a free kick but the other four World Cuppers still on the books at Vfb Stuttgart — Cacau, Khedira, Tasci of Germany and Boulahrouz of Holland — were all rested.
Khedira, expected to be sold to Real Madrid of Spain, did not make the trip to Molde.
FK MOLDE : Lillebakk ; Simonsen, Forren, Andreasson, Rindaroy ; Hestad (Skolsvik 79′), Holm, Hoseth ; Mostrom (Rundstrom 86′), Fall, Thioune (Johansson 65′)
VFB STUTTGART : Ulreich ; Celozzi, Niedermeier, Gentner, Molinaro ; Rudy (Didavi 72′), Traesch (Funk 79′), Kuzmanovic, Gebhardt ; Marica, Pogrebnyak (Harnik 79′)