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Galaxy 27, Rhein Fire 21

April 14, 1996

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) _ Former Dallas quarterback Steve Pelluer threw two touchdowns passes Saturday to lead defending champion Frankfurt to a 27-21 victory over Duesseldorf in the WLAF season opener.

Pellueer, who started 27 games during a five-year stint in Dallas, completed 24 of 35 passes for the 295 yards as the WLAF returned for its second season as a six-team European league.

The game drew as estimated 32,000 to Rhine Stadium.

The Galaxy took a 17-0 lead in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Bobby Phillips. Dusseldorf closed to 20-14 with six minutes left when backup quarterback Andy Kelly hit former Denver tight end Bryon Chamberlain with a 3-yard scoring pass.

Pelluer then threw his second touchdown pass, a 24-yarder to Jay Kearney. Manfred Burgsmueller, 46, a former German soccer great, made his football debut by kicking the extra point.

Kelly’s 5-yard pass to Chamberlain accounted for the final score.

The Galaxy, which capitalized on three Rhein Fire turnovers, took a 10-0 lead early in the game.

The 33-year-old Pelluer drove the Galaxy 80 yards on the team’s second possession, hitting five recievers before connecting with Kearney in the end zone for 24 yards.

Mike Bellamy recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, setting up a 32-yard field goal by German kicker Ralf Kleinmann.

The league is a joint venture of the NFL and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which have invested about $40 million to promote the American game in Europe. The other four teams are in London, Scotland, Amsterdam and Barcelona.

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