Fulham neared the third qualifying round of the Europa League after a 3-1 win at Crusaders on Thursday.The Cottagers travelled to Belfast to take on the Northern Irish side after defeating Faroe Islands outfit NSI Runavik in the first stage of qualifying, and they made a bright start to the second stage with the away win.
Fulham youngster Matthew Briggs opened the scoring six minutes before half-time with a brilliant goal, but Crusaders managed to grab an equaliser after 55 minutes.
Tim Adamson was the goalscorer, much to the delight of the home crowd as they urged on their heroes for a winner.
But it was not to be as Fulham proved too strong in the final 20 minutes, with a Bobby Zamora header followed by a Danny Murphy penalty as Martin Jol’s side survived a scare.
The two sides will meet for the second leg at Craven Cottage on July 21.
Other notable results included AEK Athens’ 8-0 demolition of Maltese club Floriana, Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 3-1 defeat of Azerbaijani outfit Khazar Lenkoran, and Polish hope Slask Wroclaw’s surprise 1-0 home win over Scottish Premier League side Dundee United.