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Tim Howard victorious in Everton opener
by Paul Kennedy, September 18th, 2009 7AM



[EUROPA LEAGUE] The Europa League, the successor to the UEFA Cup, began its group stage with 24 matches on Thursday. The only American to play was goalie Tim Howard, who recorded a shutout in Everton's 4-0 win over AEK Athens. Clint Dempsey was one of several starters held out of Fulham's 1-1 tie at CSKA Sofia. For more on Day 1 ...

Upsets includes losses to Italian clubs Lazio and Roma to Austria's Red Bull Salzburg (2-1 at home) Switzerland's Basel (2-0 away), respectively, and Celtic's 2-1 loss at Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Group A

Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Anderlecht (BEL) 2 (Bernardez 74, Legear 89)
Ajax (NED) 0 FC Timisoara (ROM) 0

Group B
Genoa (ITA) 2 (Zapater 4, Sculli 39) Slavia Prague (CZE) 0
Lille (FRA) 1 (Gervinho 86) Valencia (ESP) 1 (Mata 78)

Group C
Rapid Vienna (AUT) 3 (Hoffmann 36, Jelavic 44, Drazan 76) Hamburg (GER) 0
Hapoel Tel Aviv (ISR) 2 (Vucicevic 75, Lala 88) Celtic (SCO) 1 (Samaras 25)

Group D
Hertha Berlin (GER) 1 (Piszczek 34) FK Ventspils (LAT) 1 (Gauracs 48)
Heerenveen (NED) 2 (Sibon 12, Dingsdag 78) Sporting Lisbon (POR) 3 (Liedson 18, 41, 88)

Group E
Basel (SUI) 2 (Alberto Carlitos 11, Almerares 87) Roma (ITA) 0
CSKA Sofia (BUL) 1 (Michel 62) Fulham (ENG) 1 (Kamara 65)

Group F
Panathinaikos (GRE) 1 (Salpingidis 78) Galatasaray (TUR) 3 (Elano 6, 57, Baros 48)
Sturm Graz (AUT) 0 Dinamo Bucharest (ROM) 1 (Tamas 80)

Group G
Lazio (ITA) 1 (Foggia 59) Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) 2 (Schiemer 82, Janko 90+3)
Villarreal (ESP) 1 (Nilmar 72) Levski Sofia (BUL) 0

Group H
Steaua Bucharest (ROM) 0 Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA) 0
Fenerbahce (TUR) 1 (Topuz 71) FC Twente (NED) 2 (Nkufo 74, 80)

Group I
Benfica (POR) 2 (Nuno Gomes 36, Cardozo 41) BATE Borisov (BLR) 0
Everton (ENG) 4 (Yobo 10, Distin 17, Pienaar 37, Jo 82) AEK Athens (GRE) 0

Group J
Club Brugge (BEL) 1 (Geraerts 62) Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 4 (Gai 12, Willian 19, Srna 35, Kravchenko 75)
Partizan (SER) 2 (Krstajic 24, Cleo 66) Toulouse (FRA) 3 (Sirieix 30, 38, Devaux 49)

Group K
Sparta Prague (CZE) 2 (Hubnik 76, Zeman 87) PSV (NED) 2 (Reis 80, 90-pen)
CFR Cluj (ROM) 2 (Emanuel Culio 55, Traore 75) FC Copenhagen (DEN) 0

Group L
Athletic Bilbao (ESP) 3 (Llorente 9-pen, 23, Muniain 56) Austria Vienna (AUT) 0
Nacional Madeira (POR) 2 (Felipe Lopes 68, Halliche 75) Werder Bremen (GER) 3 (Frings 37-pen, Pizarro 55, 85)


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