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American Exports: Antunez, Turku draw Twente in EL quals

Daniel Antunez of Inter Turku

Photo Credit: 
Tero Wester/FC Inter Turku

AMSTERDAM – A trio of Americans started Europa League second qualifying-round play on Thirsday, with Daniel Antunez and underdogs FC Inter Turku able to escape FC Twente with a 1-1 draw.

The American worked whistle-to-whistle at left back for the Finnish visitors, who snapped a four-game losing streak in Europe despite being outshot 19-6 by the Tukkers. Dutchman Pim Bouwman opened the scoring for Inter Turku seven minutes before intermission, but the hosts earned the draw thanks to a Dusan Tadic strike midway through the second half. Antunez & Co. will host the decisive return leg next Thursday.

It was a great night for Finland-based Americans overall, with Etchu Tabe and KuPS pulling off a 2-1 opening leg victory away to Leo Krupnik's Maccabi Netanya.

Each player went the distance in central defense for his respective side, as a pair of first half away goals by teen KuPS midfielder Aleksi Paananen put the Canaries in control of the heading into the second leg.

Things didn't go nearly as well for Giuseppe Funicello's Thor Akureyri dropped a 3-0 decision at Czech side Mlada Boleslav. The under-siege left back was booked in the waning moments of a game that saw the Icelandic mites fire off just two shots compared to the home side's 26.