Carragher’s first helps Liverpool beat Kaunas

Associated Press

London, July 27:

Jamie Carragher scored his first goal for Liverpool in six years and led the defending champions to a 3-1 win at Lithuania’s FBK Kaunas in a second-round qualifying match for the Champions League. England forward Peter Crouch, who was acquired from Southampton for $12m on Thursday, also was key, assisting on one goal and troubling the six-time defending Lithuanian champion throughout in his competitive debut.

In other second-round qualifiers, Russia’s Dynamo Kiev drew 2-2 with Switzerland’s Thun; Danish club Brondby beat Georgia’s Dinamo Tbilisi 2-0; Greek Cypriot side Anorthosis topped Turkey’s Trabzonspor 3-1; Belgium’s Anderlecht thrashed Azerbaijan’s FK Neftchi 5-0; and Norway’s Valerenga Oslo edged Finland’s Haka V’koski 1-0. The second legs are scheduled for August 2-3.

In Kaunas, Lithuania, Artusas Rimkevicius gave the Lithuanians the lead, dribbling by defender Sami Hyypia and feeding Giedrius Barevicius, who converted from close range.

Liverpool equalised six minutes later when Crouch headed a cross from Boudewijn Zenden to fellow striker Djibril Cisse, who tucked in a right-footed shot. Crouch frequently troubled Kaunas’ defence on set pieces and linked well with Cisse, who often looked for his headed passes. Carragher gave Liverpool the lead in the 30th minute with a glancing header from a corner.

Reds captain Steven Gerrard added the insurance goal in the 54th, fouled by Mindaugas Baguzis on his run into the penalty area and converting the resulting spot kick. With Liverpool leading 3-1, Gerrard was replaced by Mohamed Sissoko, who made his Liverpool debut after signing from Valencia last week.