Nerves were jangly and defenses tight as the UEFA Champions League began its final stage before group play next month.
[ MORE: Klopp “couldn’t afford” Coutinho ]
APOEL Nicosia 0-0 Ajax
The Eredivisie winners and 2018-19 UCL semifinalists could not manage an away goal, which was not aided by an 80th minute red card for Noussair Mazraoui.
The Moroccan national team defender was sent off for his second yellow, putting a bit more pressure on American fullback Sergino Dest and Co.
Dest, 18, came off the bench in the 62nd minute for his second career UCL appearance.
Ajax was given seven of the match’s nine yellow cards.
CFR Cluj 0-1 Slavia Prague
Lukas Masopust scored the lone goal of the match in the 28th minute as the Czech powers brought an advantage back home for the second leg.
It was a cute finish, from afar.
LASK 0-1 Club Brugge
American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath again watched as newly-signed starter Simon Mignolet kept a clean sheet.
This time the stage was in Austria, and Mignolet only faced a single shot over 90 minutes. The winner came from the spot courtesy of twice-capped Belgian national teamer Hans Vanaken.
All matches at 3 p.m. ET
Dinamo Zagreb v. Rosenborg
Olympiacos v. Krasnodar
Young Boys v. Red Star Belgrade