UEFA Champions League African wrap

UEFA Champions League African wrap
Dame N'Doye of FC Copenhagen

by Mark Gleeson

Wednesday Aug 14, 2019. 08:00

Richard Boakye’s early away goal set up former European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade for a dramatic victory in Denmark as they edged past FC Copenhagen on a busy night for Africans in the third preliminary round of the UEFA Champions League.

Red Star had been held at home in the first leg and were not given much chance in the return at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, but the Ghanaian had other ideas as he scored after 127 minutes.

Former Senegal international Dame Ndoye then equalised on the stroke of half-time and with the aggregate score tied at 2-2 the game went into extras time, and then penalties.

It took an extraordinary 11 kicks for each team before Red Stars finally won 7-6 on post-match spotkicks with Ndoye among those who missed for the home side.

Morocco internationals Noussair Mazraoui and Hakim Ziyech and Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana all completed 90 minutes as Ajax Amsterdam needed two penalties and left it late before beating PAOK Salonika of Greece 3-2 for a 5-4 aggregate success. They will now take on APOEL Nicosia of Cyprus in the playoff round.

Ajax last season also had to come through the preliminary rounds to reach the group phase and then went on a mazy run to the semi-finals, eliminating both Juventus and Real Madrid.

South African Percy Tau was sent off and his Nigerian front partner David Okereke missed several good chances, but Club Bruges still drew 3-3 away at Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine capital to advance 4-3 on aggregate.

The Belgians next meet LASK Linz, who upset FC Basle from neighbouring Switzerland.

LAASK won 3-1 at home in Tuesday’s second leg but their Ghanaian attacker Samuel Tetteh was taken off with some 20 minutes left as the Austria side secured a surprisingly convincing 5-3 aggregate triumph.

The Nigerian duo of Samuel Adegbenro and Babajide Akintola led the line for Rosenborg but did not score as the Norwegian club beat Maribor of Slovenia 3-1 for a convincing 6-2 aggregate triumph.

Guinea’s Mady Camara was brought on as a late substitute for Olympiakos of Greece, who won 2-0 at home against Istanbul Basaksehir for a 3-0 aggregate triumph.

Olympiakos now meet FC Krasnodar of Russia, who pulled off a shock 3-2 win at FC Porto after losing the first leg at home last week.

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