BELGRADE: Former European Cup winners had mixed fortunes in Champions League qualifying as Ajax Amsterdam and Red Star Belgrade squeezed into the play-off round while Celtic and Porto were eliminated after a dramatic evening on Tuesday.
Ajax, semifinalists last season, came from behind to beat PAOK 3-2 for a 5-4 aggregate win over the Greeks while Red Star knocked out FC Copenhagen on penalties after a bizarre shootout involving 22 spot-kicks.
Krasnodar sprung a major upset with a 3-2 win at Porto to advance on away goals after losing the home leg 1-0 and Romania’s Cluj won 4-3 at Celtic to eliminate the Scottish champions 5-4 on aggregate.
Ajax youth academy reject Diego Biseswar fired PAOK ahead with a thumping shot at the Johan Cruyff Arena before Dusan Tadic, having had a penalty saved, equalised with another one before half-time.
PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis pulled off a string of superb saves but was undone by a Nicolas Tagliafico header and another Tadic penalty before Biseswar set up a tense finish with a stoppage-time effort.
Ghanaian forward Richmond Boakye fired Red Star ahead in Copenhagen and Dame N’Doye levelled to force the shootout in which the Danish champions missed two chances to progress before they were dumped out by visiting keeper Milan Borjan.
Borjan kept Red Star afloat with two stops and netted a spot-kick himself before he sent the away fans into raptures when he blocked Jonas Wind’s weak effort to send the Serbians through.
Having earned a 1-1 draw in Romania, Celtic rallied from an early deficit to lead 3-2 before a late collapse gifted Cluj two late goals and a 5-4 aggregate win over the 1967 European champions.
Billel Ormani scored for Cluj after they trailed 2-1 and 3-2 and George Tucudean delivered the final blow in stoppage time as Celtic threw men forward.
Porto fell 3-0 behind to Krasnodar in a dire first half for the Portuguese side as Magomed Suleymanov struck twice after Tonny Vilhena had levelled the tie on aggregate.
The hosts, who have won Europe’s premier club competition twice, hit back in the second half through Ze Luis and Luis Diaz but the Russian visitors held on at the Dragao stadium.
Dynamo Kiev looked like overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Club Bruges after Vitaliy Buyalskiy netted early on but the Belgian side hit back.
Stoppage-time substitute Lois Openda silenced the home crowd in Kiev barely a minute after coming on, scoring in the 96th minute to secure a 3-3 draw and book Bruges a playoff clash with Austrians LASK.
LASK followed up their 2-1 win at Basel with a 3-1 home victory over the Swiss team, while Dinamo Zagreb thumped Ferencvaros 4-0 away after a 1-1 home draw with the Hungarians.
Rosenborg beat Maribor 3-1 for a 6-2 overall win over the Slovenians, APOEL won 2-0 at Qarabag to overturn a 2-1 home defeat and Olympiakos Piraeus beat Istanbul Basaksehir 2-0 for a 3-0 aggregate triumph over the Turkish side. — Reuters
Uefa Champions League qualifying results on Tuesday: Third qualifying round, second legs
Qarabag (AZE) 0 APOEL Nicosia (CYP) 2 (De Vincenti 34-pen, Matich 68)
APOEL Nicosia win 3-2 on aggregate
Rosenborg (NOR) 3 (Soderlund 53, Konradsen 61, 81) Maribor (SVN) 1 (Vancas Pozeg 45+2)
Rosenborg win 6-2 on aggregate
Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 3 (Buyalskiy 6, Shepeliev 50, Mechele 90+3-og) Club Brugge (BEL) 3 (Deli 38, Vormer 88, OPenda 90+5)
Club Brugge win 4-3 on aggregate
FC Copenhagen (DEN) 1 (N’Doye 45) Red Star Belgrade (SRB) 1 (Boayke 17)
2-2 on aggregate, Red Star Belgrade win 7-6 on penalties
Ferencvaros (HUN) 0 Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 4 (Ademi 16, Petkovic 47, Dani Olmo 55, Gojak 79)
Dinamo Zagreb win 5-1 on aggregate
Linz ASK (AUT) 3 (Ranftl 59, Goiginger 89, Raguz 90+4) Basel (SUI) 1 (Ademi 80)
Linz ASK win 5-2 on aggregate
Olympiakos (GRE) 2 (Ruben Semedo 55, Valbuena 78-pen) Basaksehir (TUR) 0
Olympiakos win 3-0 on aggregate
Ajax (NED) 3 (Tadic 43-pen, 85-pen, Tagliafico 79) PAOK Salonika (GRE) 2 (Biseswar 23, 90+4)
Ajax win 5-4 on aggregate
Celtic (SCO) 3 (Forrest 51, Edouard 61, Christie 76) CFR Cluj (ROM) 4 (Deac 27, Omrani 74-pen, 80, Tucudean 90+7)
CFR Cluj win 5-4 on aggregate
Porto (POR) 2 (Ze Luis 57, Diaz 76) Krasnodar (RUS) (Vilhena 3, Suleymanov 13, 34) 3
3-3 on aggregate. Krasnodar through
on away goals