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2014/15 UEFA Europa League, 2014 First Round
  • Laurent Ciman (74')
  • Vinícius Araújo (87')

Standard Liege 2-0 Rijeka

Standard Liege bounced back to form as they opened their UEFA Europa League Group G campaign with a 2-0 win over Croatian opponents Rijeka in Belgium.
Late goals from Laurent Ciman and Vinicius Araujo ended the hosts' run of seven games without a win in all competitions which has seen them slip to 12th in the Belgian Pro League.
In contrast Rijeka went into the game on the back of three straight wins scoring 10 goals in the process - but could not find a way past Standard keeper Eiji Kawashima.
The home side made a statement from the opening minute when Moroccan Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez missed a fine chance to open the scoring.
Marin Leovac responded immediately for the visitors and Andrej Kramaric also had a chance but both were denied by Kawashima in the first five minutes.
Lively Haitian midfielder Jeff Louis troubled the Rijeka defence, bringing a 15th minute save out of Ivan Vargic then missing a clear chance to put his side in front in the 28th minute.
The Croatians ended the first half on top but none of Mato Jajalo, Marko Leskovic or Leovac could find a way past Kawashima.
Louis had another chance early in the second half for the hosts and substitute Paul-Jose Mpoku also brought a save out of Vargic.
Mpoku was instrumental in Standard's 74th minute opener when he sent a free-kick into the box which found Ciman who headed past the Rijeka keeper.
Louis missed another chance before Araujo sealed the home side's win three minutes from time with another header, this time from an Adrien Trebel cross.
The visitors continued pressing into the final minutes and Josip Ivancic should have narrowed the deficit in injury time only to miss the target.

ends