Sport

Benfica out of UEFA Champions League qualifying round

Published

on

Former European Cup winners Benfica crashed out of the 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round on Tuesday after a shock 2-1 defeat at PAOK Salonika.

Serbia winger Andrija Zivkovic scored against his former club Benfica a week after leaving them.

Dynamo Kiev also advanced to the play-off round with a 2-0 home win over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, as did Belgians Gent after they beat visitors Rapid Vienna 2-1.

PAOK’S reward is a two-legged play-off against Russians Krasnodar, while Dynamo Kiev face Gent for berths in the money-spinning group stage featuring 32 teams.

Benfica, who won Europe’s premier club competition in 1961 and 1962, saw last season’s woes spill over into this term.

This was as Zivkovic, who endured four difficult seasons in Portugal, rubbed salt into their wounds.

Having seen the domestic league and Cup double go to Porto last term, Benfica missed a string of chances against PAOK in a one-sided first half as they enjoyed 72 percent of possession.

They were punished after the break as Dimitrios Giannoulis poked in the opener from close range in the 63rd minute.

That was after a one-two with Chuba Akpom, and substitute Zivkovic made it 2-0 in the 75th with a sweet shot inside the near post.

Rafa Silva pulled one back with a stoppage time header but it came too late to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

This will pile pressure on manager Jorge Jesus, who returned to Benfica during the close season for a second spell in charge.

Having been in charge from 2009 to 2015, Jesus went on to win the elusive double of the Brazilian league title and Copa Libertadores with Flamengo in 2019.

But he now faces a mammoth task to get Benfica back to winning ways.

Dynamo Kiev soaked up pressure on home soil against Alkmaar in the first half.

Then, Luxembourg forward Gerson Rodrigues fired them ahead just after the break with a neat finish into the roof of the net, thanks to good work by Vitaliy Buyalskiy.

Mykola Shaparenko sealed their passage with a late header after visiting goalkeeper Marco Bizot misjudged Tomasz Kedziora’s cross from the right.

It left the midfielder with the simple task of nodding the ball into an empty net.

Niklas Dorsch headed Gent into a 36th minute lead against Rapid Vienna from a pinpoint Sven Kums assist.

Roman Yaremchuk added the second with a penalty kick on the hour, before Yusuf Demir netted a stoppage time consolation for the visitors.

In Wednesday’s stand-out fixtures, 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade visit Cypriots Omonia Nicosia while Dinamo Zagreb are at Hungarian champions Ferencvaros.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Source: NAN

 

Olawale Alabi

Olawale Alabi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a media subscriber of the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

FIFA Secretary General Discusses world football disruption, impact of FIFA COVID-19 relief plan and wokeness at World Football Summit Live IX Social App Makes Trading Accessible to Everyone African Development Bank Invests in Pioneering SPARK+ Africa Fund to Deliver Clean Cooking Solutions Commonwealth to observe Ghanaian elections Coronavirus – Sierra Leone: COVID-19 update (29 November 2020) Southern Madagascar faces drought-driven hunger, threatening millions Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 update for South Africa (29 November 2020) Coronavirus – Rwanda: COVID-19 update (29 November 2020) Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 statistics in South Africa (29 November 2020) Coronavirus – Malawi: COVID-19 Daily Information Update (29th November 2020) Tanzania: Burundian Refugees ‘Disappeared,’ Tortured South Sudan: UN arms embargo must be maintained after surge in violence against civilians in 2020 UN condemns ‘brutal and callous’ attack on civilians in north-east Nigeria 25m Nigerians to own 5m solar systems at N4,000 monthly – Presidency AIDS: Treatment of 1.5m PLHIV key to sustaining control of HIV annually – NACA Gbajabiamila condemns killing of Borno rice farmers I didn’t defect to APC over presidential ambition- Umahi No rising of COVID-19 cases in orientation camps Group honours NYSC D-G, others for distinguished service COVID-19: Antibiotics misuse can accelerate antimicrobial resistance – experts NiMet predicts sunshine, cloudiness, Monday to Wednesday 25m Nigerians to own 5m solar systems at N4,000 monthly–Presidency Stakeholders frown at border re-opening for Dangote, BUA coys FG to roll out Autogas programme Dec. 1 APC will clinch two Bayelsa Senate seats in bye-election says Sylva Nation’s electricity grid collapses- TCN People living with HIV/AIDS seek collaboration to end virus by 2030 Lagos graduates 100 women, youth farmers #EndSARS: Association wants FG, states to compensate affected traders Create more awareness on HIV/AIDS to reduce risk of COVID-19, expert urges Youth NGO decries neglect of HIV/AIDS following COVID-19 outbreak National Qur’anic recitation competition goes underway in Gombe Nigeria Idol 2020/2021 audition begins Nov.29 Enugu State NMA gets new leadership SWAN confirms receipt of N11.4m FIFA COVID-19 funds 43 farmers killed by insurgents buried amid tears, wailing Nigerian Navy Sailing Club loses sailor UNFPA advises public against stigmatising people living with HIV Troops raid terrorists’ hideouts, eliminate 5 in Borno Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponement cost organisers $1.9 billion Tyson fights to draw with Jones Jr. in exhibition Lagos Taskforce destroys over 1,700 illegal shanties at Agege #EndSARS: NAN management wants show of patriotism by Nigerians Buhari describes as insane Boko Haram killing of farmers in Borno Bible Society appoints Sanusi as new CEO-Designate Indigenous Coy plans Summit to reposition Nigeria’s entrepreneurship drive — CEO Ghana to elect president in ‘battle of two giants’ Croatian PM in self-quarantine after wife contracts COVID-19 Tens of thousands protest in France against controversial police law Republican Cindy McCain reportedly favourite to be Biden’s ambassador to Britain