GENEVA — AC Milan‘s off-season spending spree paid a quick dividend when new signing Ricardo Rodriguez scored in a 1-0 win at CSU Craiova in the Europa League third qualifying round on Thursday.
The Switzerland defender’s 44th-minute free kick from the right flank eluded everyone in the penalty area to find the net.
After a three-season absence from European action, Milan has invested around $250 million in strengthening its squad and should advance from the second leg at San Siro next Thursday.
Also in Romania, the son of Brazilian 2002 World Cup winner Rivaldo, known as Rivaldinho, scored from distance in the 54th to level the match and earn Dinamo Bucharest a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
Wayne Rooney had a quiet first competitive game for Everton in 13 years after rejoining his boyhood club from last season’s Europa League winner Manchester United.
England defender Leighton Baines scored the only goal against Ruzomberok, a deflected shot in the 65th, to give Everton a 1-0 lead for the second leg in Slovakia.
Valere Germain scored a hat trick in Marseille’s 4-2 win over visiting Oostende.
Also in a 29-game program Thursday, it was: Bnei Yehuda 0, Zenit St. Petersburg 2; PSV Eindhoven 0, Osijek 1; Bordeaux 2, Videoton 1; and Sturm Graz 1, Fenerbahce 2.