West Ham loses at home; Sevilla, Ajax win

New club West Ham lost 1-0 at home to Sicilian club Palermo in the UEFA Cup on Thursday.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Argentina stars Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano had a losing start on their debuts in European soccer on Thursday when new club West Ham lost 1-0 at home to Sicilian club Palermo in the UEFA Cup. Andrea Caracciolo scored the only goal at Upton Park in the final minute of the first half a minute after goalkeeper Alberto Fontana had saved a volley from Tevez. The Hammers must win in Palermo in two weeks to reach the lucrative group stage of European soccer's second-tier competition. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice in Ajax's 5-2 win over IK Start in the first round of the competition while Sevilla began its defense with a 2-1 victory at Atromitos. Marcus Rosenberg, Wesley Sneijder and Roger added more goals for Ajax in Norway, but Start had tied the four-time European champion at 2-2 in the 56th minute with strikes by Marius Johnsen and Geir Fevang. First-half goals by Blanco Kepa and Sergio Duda put Sevilla in control at Atromitos before Giorgos Korakakis scored for the Greek club in the 64th minute. Gustavo Lopez scored seven minutes before halftime as Celta Vigo won 1-0 at Standard Liege as all four Spanish clubs in 40 first-round matches went unbeaten. Osasuna was denied a victory at Turkey's Trabzonspor when Umut Bulut equalised in the 89th-minute for a 2-2 draw, but Espanyol needed a second-half goal by Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani to earn a 2-2 tie at Artmedia Bratislava, which surprisingly reached the group stage of the Champions League last season. Daniel Dessena scored in the 79th as 1999 champion Parma won 1-0 at Russia's Rubin Kazan. But another Serie A club, Chievo, had Giovanni Marchese and Andrea Mantovani sent off in the last three minutes in a 2-0 loss at Portugal's Braga. Despite West Ham's loss, Jermaine Jenas scored the only goal eight minutes before halftime as Tottenham won 1-0 at Slavia Prague. And Antoine Sibierski's 10th-minute goal gave Newcastle a 1-0 win at Estonia's Levadia in Tallinn. Marc Janko scored a last-minute equaliser as Red Bull Salzburg earned a 2-2 draw with Blackburn. After Alexander Zickler had given Salzburg a 30th-minute lead, goals by Robbie Savage and South African striker Benni McCarthy had put Mark Hughes' Rovers ahead before halftime. Michael Thurk scored three and Eintracht Frankfurt outplayed Brondby 4-0 after the visitors' Henrik Kildentoft and Mark Howard had been ejected. In another Germany-Denmark meeting, Hertha Berlin was held 2-2 at home by OB Odense after rallying from an early deficit to take the lead. A seventh-minute own-goal by Josip Simunic put the Danish club ahead, only for Christian Giminez and Kevin-Prince Boateng to score either side of halftime for the Bundesliga team to lead 2-1. Oliveira Bechara made it 2-2 in the 53rd. Soren Larsen scored the only goal four minutes from the end as Schalke edged Nancy 1-0 but Bayer Leverkusen was held 0-0 at Sion. Ireland's Derry City held Marseille 0-0 at home while Ethnikos Achnas of Cyprus managed a goalless draw with Lens. Christian Pulhac scored the winner five minutes from the end of a seven-goal thriller as Dinamo Bucharest won 4-3 at FC Xanthi. Claudiu Niculescu scored twice for the Romanian team and Diego Quintana hit two for the Greek club. Czech club Liberec beat Red Star Belgrade 2-0 with Tomas Frejlach scoring two minutes before halftime and a last-minute goal by Jan Blazek. (AP)