Celtic’s 8-4 aggregate win over Astana earlier Tuesday was just the tip of the iceberg.
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Eight more goals came calling in a quartet of UEFA Champions League playoff round second legs on Tuesday, as Sevilla, Napoli, Maribor, and Olympiacos joined the Bhoys in the group stage.
Sevilla 2-2 (4-3 agg.) Basaksehir
When Sevilla brought two away goals back to Spain, this leg threatened absolute boredom. That couldn’t have been more off base, as the Turkish visitors took a 1-0 through Eljero Elia to put the match back in the balance and didn’t quit once the Istanbul side made it 4-2. But Edin Visca’s 83rd minute goal was all they’d muster, and Sevilla avoided a massive upset to reach the UCL group stage.
Nice 0-2 (0-4 agg.) Napoli
There will be no Mario Balotelli reunion with Anfield in the UEFA Champions League, as Napoli got an early second half goal from Jose Callejon to bury any hopes of the Ligue 1 side coming back from a 2-0 first leg hole. Lorenzo Insigne scored in the 89th minute to make the final moments even less dramatic. He hit the ball really well.
Maribor 1-0 (2-2 agg.) Hapoel Be’er Sheva
It’s cliche to say there were “scenes” in any given big game, but the Ljudski vrt spent the final 15 minutes building to a crescendo. If there was a lid on the place, it would’ve blown at the final whistle as the Slovenian side knocked its Israeli visitors into the Europa League.
Rijeka 0-1 (1-3 agg.) Olympiacos
Not much drama here, as ex-Chelsea winger Marko Marin scored in the 25th minute to put Croatia’s Rijeka in a pretty deep hole.
Still to come Wednesday
All matches at 2:45 p.m. ET
Copenhagen vs. Qarabag (Qarabag leads 1-0)
CSKA Moscow vs. Young Boys (CSKA leads 1-0)
Slavia Prague vs. Apoel Nicosia (Apoel leads 2-0)
Liverpool vs. Hoffenheim (Liverpool leads 2-1)
Steaua Bucharest vs. Sporting CP (First leg 0-0)