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Wins for Bayern and Ajax in UEFA Cup, Spurs hit six

LONDON, Sep 21 (Reuters) Former European champions Bayern Munich and Ajax Amsterdam started their UEFA Cup campaigns with 1-0 wins in the first-round matches.

Watched by a crowd of 64,000 at the Allianz Arena, Italy striker Luca Toni scored the only goal for Bayern against Belenenses, smashing the ball home from close range after a lob by Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel in the 34th minute yesterday.

The winning margin means Belenenses will have everything to play for against the four-times European champions in the second leg in Portugal in two weeks.

Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen fared better in another Germany/Portugal clash, beating Uniao Leiria 3-1 at home.

Ajax also look in better shape than Bayern after winning at Dynamo Zagreb. Dane Dennis Rommedahl went round keeper Georg Koch to score the winner from a pass by strike partner Klaas Jan Huntelaar just after the hour mark.

It was a mixed time for the money-spinning English Premier League clubs.

Tottenham Hotspur thumped Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus 6-1 at White Hart Lane but Everton striker Andy Johnson missed two penalties in a 1-1 home draw with Ukraine's Metalist Kharkiv, who finished with nine men.

Blackburn Rovers lost 2-0 at Larissa while Bolton Wanderers, bottom of the Premier League, drew 1-1 at Rabotnicki Skopje of Macedonia.

Spurs killed their match with three goals in three minutes just before the break, with Michael Dawson, Irish striker Robbie Keane and England forward Darren Bent setting up a victory that will almost certainly put them into the group stage.

Larissa's victory marked a particularly good night for Greece whose five sides, including AEK Athens and Panathinaikos, all won.

Luis Garcia scored twice for Atletico Madrid in a 4-0 rout of Turkey's Erciyesspor.

Spartak Moscow also look good for the group stage after a 5-0 win over Sweden's Haecken while former European champions Red Star Belgrade won 1-0 at Groclin Grodzisk of Poland.


Story first published: Friday, September 21, 2007, 10:43 [IST]
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