PFC CSKA Sofia 0 – SK Rapid Vienna 2


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CSKA Sofia’s Dutch winger GREGORY NELSON, the 22-year-old off-season acquisition from RBC Roosendall in the Netherlands, hurdles the sliding veteran Norway international defender RAGNVALD SOMA of Rapid Vienna, who collected an English FA Cup winners’ medal with West Ham United in 2001, at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in the capital city of Bulgaria. (AP photo)
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UEFA Europa League
Group Stage
10/21/2010

0 – PFC CSKA Sofia (BUL)
2 – SK Rapid Vienna (AUT) ———— Vennegoor of Hesselink 28′, Hofmann 32′

Two first half goals from a pair of veteran players powered visiting Austrian side SK RAPID VIENNA to a 2-0 victory over PFC CSKA SOFIA in Group L of the UEFA Europa League.

The hosting Bulgarian side had all the chances in the early going — Dutch winger GREGORY NELSON shot wide from a tight angle, Brazilian midfielder MARQUINHOS curled a free kick agonizingly over the crossbar and Ireland international striker CILLIAN SHERIDAN, who signed for CSKA Sofia from Scottish side Glasgow Celtic this past August, forced a save from Rapid Vienna goalkeeper RAIMUND HEDL — but it would be the visitors who would put a ball in the back of the net first.

After Austria international midfielder VELI KAVLAK’s corner kick was flicked on at the near post by Norway international defender RAGNVALD SOMA, Holland international striker JAN VENNEGOOR of HESSELINK volleyed past CSKA Sofia’s Algeria World Cup goalkeeper RAIS M’BOLHI to give Rapid Vienna the 1-0 lead in the 28th minute.

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Bulgaria international defender KOSTADIN STOYANOV (left) of CSKA Sofia seeks to protect the ball as Rapid Vienna’s 21-year-old Austria international midfielder VELI KAVLAK looks to steal at the Vasil Levski National Stadium. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)
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Rapid Vienna tacked on a second just four minutes later when German captain STEFFEN HOFMANN got a hold of Austria international defender MARKUS KATZER’s return ball for what was supposed to be a one-two with Austria international midfielder CHRISTOPH SAURER; the 29-year-old former Bayern Munich midfielder made no mistake with a left-footed shot to the far right corner from about seven yards out and notched his third goal for the Huetteldorfer in the UEFA Europa League this season.

Rapid Vienna might have added a third just before halftime, but a thunderous volley from Saurer was kept out by M’Bolhi, whom CSKA Sofia signed on loan for this season from intra-city rival Slavia Sofia.

CSKA Sofia had still more chances after the break to get on the scoreboard, as well, but were twice denied by the proverbial woodwork and another good save from Hedl.

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Finland international midfielder MARKUS HEIKKINEN of Rapid Vienna gets tangled up with CSKA Sofia captain and Bulgaria internatonal midfielder TODOR YANCHEV, who has been with the capital city club since returning from Scotland after a solitary season with Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 2007, at the Vasil Levski National Stadium. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)
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PFC CSKA SOFIA : M’Bolhi – Minev (Tiboni 46′), Vidanov, Aquaro, Stoyanov (Dechev 72′) – Nelson (Tonev 57′), Yanchev, Marquinhos, Trifonov, Delev – Sheridan

SK RAPID VIENNA : Hedl – Kayhan, Sonnleitner, Soma, Katzer – Kavlak, Heikkinen, Hofmann (Trimmel 84′), Pehlivan, Saurer (Drazan 64′) – Vennegoor of Hesselink

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Holland international striker JAN VENNEGOOR of HESSELINK, the 31-year-old veteran who has scored two goals in six Austrian Bundesliga games since signing on a free transfer from English second divison side Hull City, is overjoyed with his first goal in Europe for Rapid Vienna after scoring in the 28th minute against CSKA Soifa at the Vasil Levski National Stadium. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)
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With fellow visiting teammates Holland international striker JAN VENNEGOOR of HESSELINK (10) and Austria international midfielder CHRISTOPH SAURER (21) celebrating behind, German midfielder and club captain STEFFEN HOFMANN (11) of Rapid Vienna rejoices over his 32nd minute strike against CSKA Sofia at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in the capital city of Bulgaria. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

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