American Exports: Stabaek fall in Europa League opener

AMSTERDAM – Four Americans made Europa League debuts on Thursday night, with Ricardo Clark and Sean Cunningham on the wrong end of a 2-0 decision in Stabæk's first qualifying-round opener at Finnish side JJK.

Cunningham had a solid night for the Blue Ones, while the low spot of Clark's tepid outing was the giveaway that led to JJK's second goal.

About an hour's drive away, KuPS defender Etchu Tabe went the distance as the home team opened their European campaign with a 2-1 win over Welsh visitors Llanelli AFC.

Over in Ireland, Giuseppe Funicello and Icelandic underdogs Thór Akureyri performed admirably in a 0-0 draw at Bohemians.

All three first-round ties will switch venues next Thursday for the deciding second legs.