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Europa League 2013-14 qualifying results - Promising start for Irish clubs

The UEFA Europa League trophy (credit: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)
Republic of Ireland club St Patrick's Athletic twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw away to Lithuanian side Zalgiris in their Europa League first qualifying round first leg.

Conan Byrne cancelled out Pavel Kamolov's opener, but Zalgiris regained the lead through Kamil Bilinski with 20 minutes remaining. Gerard O'Brien then struck three minutes from time to put the Dublin side in a good position to qualify for the second round.

Fellow League of Ireland side Drogheda United also earned an impressive result, holding Swedish club Malmo to a 0-0 draw at the Tallaght Stadium.

Northern Ireland's Crusaders took the lead against another Scandinavian outfit with a strong European pedigree, Rosenborg, but eventually lost 2-1.

Jordan Owens gave the home side the lead but John Chibuike equalised in first-half stoppage time and Jonas Svensson's 77th-minute goal made the Norwegians strong favourites going into next week's return leg.

Crusaders' league rivals Glentoran drew 0-0 away to KR Reykjavik.

Welsh league club Airbus UK Broughton drew 1-1 with Ventspils at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground, Chris Budrys equalising 10 minutes from time to cancel out Simonas Paulius' opener for the Latvians.

Another Welsh-Latvian clash in Rhyl ended with Prestatyn Town beaten 2-1 by Liepajas Metalurgs.

Jurgis Kalns and Ilja Sadcins gave Metalurgs victory, with Andy Parkinson scoring Prestatyn's goal just before half time.

Also in action next week will be Bala Town and Linfield, who won the first legs of their ties 1-0 at home to Levadia Tallinn (Estonia) and 2-0 away to IF Fuglafjordur (Faroe Islands) respectively.

Linfield can be backed at 1/4 on Betfair to also win the second leg next Wednesday.

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Europa League 2013-14 qualifying results - Promising start for Irish clubs

Republic of Ireland club St Patrick's Athletic twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw away to Lithuanian side Zalgiris in their Europa League first qualifying round first leg.

Read more »