EPL: Porto, Celtic, Basel knocked out, Ajax scrape through


EPL: Porto, Celtic, Basel knocked out, Ajax scrape through

Scottish champions Celtic, Portuguese champions FC Porto, İstanbul Başakşehir and FC Basel have had their journey in Europe’s elite Champions League terminated during the qualifying rounds.

Porto, the 2004 winners threw away their one-goal lead to Krasnodar and conceded three goals at the Estádio do Dragão, eventually being knocked out by the Russian club on away goals.

It was the first time in 10 years that they failed to reach the group stages, losing to a side founded just in 2008.

İstanbul Başakşehir couldn’t convert any of their 11 shots on goal in Greece as Olympiacos scored twice to register a 3-0 aggregate win, while Basel collapsed on the road to Austrian side LASK.

Celtic were also knocked out of the Champions League during the third qualifying round, while last season’s semi-finalists Ajax needed a late comeback to edge past Greek side PAOK

Following on from Celtic’s 1-1 draw away to CFR Cluj last week, Neil Lennon’s Bhoys suffered the worst possible start as Ciprian Deac broke the deadlock in Glasgow.

James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard were able to hit back and put Celtic back in the driving seat, but Billel Omrani scored either side of Ryan Christie’s effort to give Cluj the advantage, while substitute George Țucudean rounded off the scoring in added time to dump the Scottish champions out of the Champions League.

Elsewhere in the third qualifying round, Apoel Nicosia, Rosenborg, Club Brugge and Dinamo Zagreb joined the list of teams who played the second-leg away from home to qualify.

Club Brugge v Dynamo Kyiv – UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round: First Leg
Red Star Belgrade – also known as Crvena Zvezda – took Copenhagen to a penalty shoot-out, which saw a stunning nine spot-kicks spurned before the Serbian giants eventually won the match, with Denmark Under-21 international Jonas Wind missing the decisive effort.

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