Liverpool still has hope of joining Pot 2 in this season’s UEFA Champions League, as big time underdogs PAOK Salonika picked up a valuable away goal and 1-1 draw at Benfica in the first leg of their UCL playoff round tie.
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The Reds will provide the possibility of a horror group if Benfica wins, which was widely expected, moving Liverpool from Pot 2 to 3 and leaving open the possibility of a group like Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, and Inter Milan.
The second legs are Aug. 29, while three more ties begin Wednesday.
Here’s what happened Tuesday in Belarus, Portugal, and Serbia.
Benfica 1-1 PAOK Salonika
PAOK is the bookies’ biggest underdog in the round, and Pizzi’s first half stoppage time penalty had things looking like business as usual in Portugal.
But Egyptian winger Amr Warda found Sebastian Varela’s shot off the cross bar and deposited the rebound to give PAOK the upper hand heading back to Greece.
BATE Borisov 2-3 PSV Eindhoven
Goals for each side inside of the final three minutes at Borisov Arena in Belarus provided a thrilling ending, but may take a lot of the luster off the second leg in the Netherlands.
PSV led 2-1 on goals from Gaston Pereiro and El Tri star Hirving Lozano, when 37-year-old Alexander Hleb — yes, the former Arsenal and Barcelona man — scored an 88th minute equalizer. A minute later, Donyell Malin scored to put the Dutch side back on top.
Red Star Belgrade 0-0 Red Bull Salzburg
The Austrian visitors had a lot of the ball, but shots were even as the tie leaves Serbia without a goal.