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  Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Sturm blow away Livi
Rolande Zarate pulls a goal back for Livingston
Rolande Zarate gave Livi some late consolation
Sturm Graz 5-2 Livingston

Sturm Graz showed their class to turn Livingston's Uefa Cup dream into a nightmare as the Scots' were overpowered in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium.

Four goals in a dreadful nine-minute spell in the second half for the Scots made sure that Sturm forgot their own woes of losing coach Ivica Osim days before the tie.

But goals in the dying seconds from Rolande Zarate and Stuart Lovell give Livi some hope for the second leg.

Livingston had coped well with a side that so recently had competed in the Champions League until the Austrians took the lead through Arnold Wetl after 37 minutes.


When there is a glimmer of hope you have to pursue the challenge
Livingston boss Jim Leishman
The Scots would have hoped to regroup during the half-time break. Instead, the home side stormed into attack and goals from Imre Szabics, Ekrem Dag, David Mujiri, twice, put them in charge until they were punished for easing off late on.

Visiting boss Jim Leishman made two changes from the side that competed well before losing to Rangers at the weekend.

Cherif Toure-Maman, sent off against the Scottish Premier League leaders, had to settle for a place on the bench along with recent signing David McNamee.

Gustave Bahoken and Phillipe Brinquin were the men to benefit, adding their Continental experience.

Club captain Stuart Lovell passed a late fitness test to take his place in midfield after recovering from an ankle injury.

The Sturm Graz camp had been thrown into turmoil at the weekend when long-serving coach Ivica Osim resigned following a string of poor results.

Caretaker-boss Franco Foda headed into the game with both Eddy Bosnar and Martin Pregelj missing through suspension.

Sturm had most of the pressure while Livi looked dangerous on the break until the home side started to take greater control.

David Mujiri had a chance to open the scoring for Graz after 17 minutes with an opportunist shot that fell just inches over the crossbar.

Livingston should have found themselves a goal down after 21 minutes, when defender Gary Bollan brought down Alain Masudi in the area.

Masudi himself took the spot kick, but he was denied the opener by a block from Livingston goalkeeper Javier Sanchez Broto.

Sturm were eventually rewarded with the opener after 37 minutes.

David Mujiri celebrates his second goal
David Mujiri scored twice for Sturm
Szabics went on a run down the left flank before squaring the ball across the face of goal to Wetl, who stabbed the ball home from just inside the six-yard box.

A Broto block prevented Wetl adding his second shortly after the brek, but Sturm extended their lead after 50 minutes when Szabics took the ball past Bollan before going on a run into the box and firing past Broto at the far post.

The Austrians grabbed their third goal of the night seconds later, a Mujiri shot being punched into the air by Broto and Ekrem Dag smashed home from close range.

Sturm displayed their confidence by stringing together five passes in the Livingston box before Mujiri eventually slotted the ball past Broto from 12 yards after 56 minutes.

Two minutes later, he secured a double when he pounced on a cross from Wetl to fire home his second - and Graz's fifth - of the evening.

Zarate and Lovell gave Livi a slight chance for the second leg when they scored in stoppage time.


SK Sturm Graz: Hoffmann, Neukirchner, Golemac, Mujiri, Mahlich, Brzeczek, Wetl, Masudi, Dag, Strafner, Szabics.
Subs: Weber, Heldt, Korsos, Kienzl, Karner, Rauter, Amoah.

Livingston: Broto, Brinquin, Rubio, Andrews, Bollan, Bahoken, Camacho, Lovell, Wilson, Quino, Zarate.
Subs: McEwan, McNamee, O'Brien, Dadi, Bingham, Dorado, Toure-Maman.

Referee: S Sbrgby (Ukraine)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's David Begg
"Livingston have half a chance"
Livingston manager Jim Leishman
"The guys were a bit naive"

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