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FK Vetra 0-3 Fulham

Bobby Zamora celebrates his opener
Zamora fired home Fulham's crucial opener just before half time

Fulham made an emphatic Europa League debut as Bobby Zamora inspired a comfortable victory over FC Vetra.

The frontman had a hand in all three goals as Fulham swept past the Lithuanian side in the third Europa League qualifying first-leg encounter.

The opener came when Zamora turned and fired in from 18 yards, and the striker was then pulled down inside the box.

Danny Murphy converted the penalty and Zamora laid in Seol Ki-Hyeon, who smashed home a third late on.

Making their first appearance in Europe since 2002, Fulham occasionally showed the strain of beginning their season in July, with their defence loose at times and a lack of bite evident in midfield.

The hot conditions did not help, and Fulham were thankful for Murphy's goalline clearance in the fifth minute following poor marking at a corner.

606: DEBATE

However, after a nervy opening half hour, Fulham comprehensively outplayed FC Vetra, who finished third in the A Lyga last season.

Brede Hangeland nodded a corner wide, Zamora shot straight at keeper Povilas Valincius and Zoltan Gera flashed wide of the near post as the Cottagers failed to turn their increasing dominance into goals.

Zamora settled any nerves, though, when he fired in a delicious opener moments before half-time.

And Murphy effectively killed the game off from the spot 10 minutes after the restart after Zamora had been hauled down by Vetra skipper Algis Jankauskas.

From then on the match resembled a training ground exercise as the Londoners controlled the tempo and frustrated their opponents.

But there was still time for Seol to complete the scoring, the South Korean drilling into the corner after more good work from Zamora.

Afterwards, Zamora told Fulham's website: "It was important for us to start with a win. We're all loving playing in Europe - we're going to relish every minute of it.

"Now we're just looking forward to the second leg next week. It'll be another tough workout for us and hopefully we'll come out of it with another win.

"They were organised and they worked hard. They put the ball in the box and they'll give us another hard game back at the Cottage next week."


FK Vetra: Valincius, Borovskij, Kijanskas, Jankauskas, Paulauskas, Masitsev, Razanauskas, Ngapounou (Stanaitis 47), Vezevicius, Grigaitis (Eliosius 75), Vasiliauskas (Moroz 57).
Subs Not Used: Galdikas, Bucholc, Kulbis, Zulpa.

Booked: Ngapounou, Jankauskas.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Pantsil, Hangeland, Baird, Andrew Johnson (Nevland 68), Gera, Murphy (Riise 86), Hughes, Dempsey (Seol 81), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Kelly, Kamara, Eddie Johnson.

Goals: Zamora 44, Murphy 56 pen, Seol 84.

Att: 12,000

Ref: Fritz Stuchlik (Austria)



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see also
Fulham face Lithuanians or Finns
17 Jul 09 |  Europe


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