Udinese defeated Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg 3-1 in the first leg of their Europa League third round qualifying match.
Francesco Guidolin named a strong starting XI for the match in Eastern Europe, giving starting places to Luis Muriel, Danilo and Antonio Di Natale.
It didn’t take long for the Bianconeri to open their European account for the season, as with after just 16 minutes, Di Natale struck home a free kick to give his team a 1-0 lead.
The Italians were looking extremely dangerous, and they quickly doubled their advantage – the veteran striker playing in Muriel, who neatly tucked away the finish.
With six minutes remaining in the half, the Colombian scored his second and Udinese’s third with another smart finish, to all but seal up the victory.
The second 45 was a slightly tighter affair, with the home team creating a few more opportunities on goal.
But it was Di Natale again who went closest, but his penalty on 65 minutes was saved by Luka Bilobrik.
The tie was made more interesting on 77 minutes when Dino Coric pulled one back for the hosts, but the Zebrette will sit in the hot-seat when they host the Plavi next Thursday, August 8 in the second leg.
Siroki Brijeg 1-3 Udinese
Scorers: Di Natale 16 (U), Muriel 31, 39 (U); Coric 77 (SB)
Siroki Brijeg: Bilobrk; Blaic, Spikic, Jese, Markovic; Ivankovic, Landeka; Conic, Wagner, Zakaric (Silic 68); Kordic
Udinese: Kelava; Domizzi, Danilo, Heurtaux; Allan, Basta (Widmer 46), Pinzi, Pereyra (Lazzarri 71), G.Silva; Di Natale (Maicosuel 85), Muriel
Missed penalty: Di Natale 65 (U)
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