Ally McCoist finally notched his first victory as Rangers FC's manager, but it arrived four days late.
The reigning Scottish champions, with Fontana's Maurice Edu in midfield, bounced back from a startling draw in their Premier League opener to swat St. Johnstone, 2-0, on Saturday, the first triumph for the club's former star striker in three competitive games since taking over for retired Walter Smith.
He needed a win last Tuesday in the Blues' home leg of their qualifying series with Sweden's Malmö FC in the UEFA Champions League, the biggest of all club competitions -- bigger, yes, than even the Club World Cup that the victor qualifies for.
A 1-0 defeat, on Daniel Larsson's 18th-minute goal, has the Glasgow giant on the verge of elimination just as its campaign is starting. They'll require a victory -- by two goals or with two or more goals -- Wednesday in Sweden to move on to the playoff round, the final phase before group play.
WORTH NOTING: Irvine's Matt Taylor enjoyed a most fruitful return to Rot Weiss Ahlen, the third-division German club for which he starred last season. The former Chivas USA striker netted a hat trick -- goals in the 30th, 71st and 83rd minutes -- as second-tier SC Paderborn 07 destroyed the Red-Whites, 10-0, in a German Cup opener. ... Pasadena's Yura Movsisyan missed a first-half penalty kick, and Krasnodar settled for a 1-1 draw with Russian Premier League leader CSKA Moscow.
AREA PLAYERS IN EUROPE
M MAURICE EDU (Fontana)
Club: Rangers FC (Scotland, Premier League)
Last week: 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss Tuesday vs. Malmö FC (Sweden) in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League's third qualifying round; started, played 82 minutes as the Blues (1-0-1) posted a 2-0 victory Saturday at St. Johnstone
Season: 2 league games (2 starts); 1 UEFA game (1 start); 3 games (3 starts) in all competitions
Next: Wednesday at Malmö FC (Sweden) in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League's third qualifying round; Saturday, Aug. 13, at last-place Inverness Caledonian Thistle (0-2-0)
F YURA MOVSISYAN (Pasadena/Pasadena City College)
Club: FC Krasnodar (Russia, Russian Premier League)
Last week: 90 minutes, missing a 32nd-minute penalty kick, as the ninth-place Bulls (5-5-8) tied, 1-1, Sunday vs. first-place CSKA Moscow
Season: 13 league games (8 starts) with 4 goals, 14 games (8 starts) with 4 goals in all competitions
Next: Sunday at 11th-place FK Ambar Perm'.
F MATT TAYLOR (Irvine/UCLA)
Club: SC Paderborn 07 (Germany, 2.Bundesliga)
Last week: 90 minutes, scored three goals in 10-0 victory Saturday at Rot Weiss Ahlen in the first round of the German Cup
Season: 1 cup game (1 start) with 3 goals; 3 games (1 start) with 4 goals in all competitions
Next: Friday at 15th-place Union Berlin (0-1-1)
F BOBBY WOOD (Irvine)
Club: TSV 1860 Munich (Germany, 2.Bundesliga)
Last week: Was on the 18-man roster but did not play in a 3-2 overtime victory Friday at Osnabrück in the first round of the German Cup
Season: 0 games
Next: Saturday at second-place Energie Cottbus (2-0-0)