The UEFA Champions League playoff round second leg games kick off on Tuesday, and there are some intriguing clashes lined up across Europe.
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Trailing 2-0 from the first leg in Croatia, Rosenborg must launch a huge comeback at home against Dinamo Zagreb to make the group stage. Elsewhere, Red Star Belgrade drew 2-2 at Young Boys in a wild first leg in Switzerland, and with the addition of a military tank to the stadium for the second leg, it’s sure to be a wild night in Serbia.
Olympiacos are basically through to the group stage after they hammered FC Krasnodar 4-0 in the first leg in Greece last week but if the Russians score early, who knows what might happen…
Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, which all kick off at 3 p.m. ET.
Click on the link above to follow all of the action live, while we will have you covered with a roundup of the action right here on Pro Soccer Talk.
Rosenborg v. Dinamo Zagreb (0-2)
Red Star Belgrade v. Young Boys (2-2)
FC Krasnodar v. Olympiacos (0-4)
GENEVA (AP) Switzerland forward Florijana Ismaili is missing after getting into difficulties while swimming in Italy.
Swiss side Young Boys Bern says it has been informed that Ismaili, who plays for its women’s team, has been missing since she had a swimming accident at Lake Como in Lombardy on Saturday afternoon.
The club says: “The police searches are still underway. We are very upset and have not given up hope that all will end well.”
The club adds, “We are in close contact with family members and ask for understanding that we cannot make any further comment at this time. We will inform again as soon as we know more.”
Italian news agency Ansa reported that Ismaili rented a boat with a friend. She apparently dived into the lake from the boat but did not resurface.
The 24-year-old Ismaili has been playing for Bern since 2011.
When Manchester United take on BSC Young Boys in the two sides’ UEFA Champions League group stage opener on Wednesday, they’ll do so on an always derided artificial playing surface, in the Swiss capital city of Bern.
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Speaking in Tuesday’s press conference, Man United manager Jose Mourinho was quick to insist he won’t be using the undesirable surface as an excuse should things go wrong at Stade de Suisse, nor will he allow his players to do so. He even evoked the name of the great Roger Federer, arguably the greatest tennis player of all time and a Swiss himself, as the model example of adaptability — quotes from Bleacher Report:
“I don’t want to use [the artificial turf].. as a possible excuse for a poor performance. Everybody knows it is different but we are in Switzerland, the home of one of the best ever tennis players, and I’m pretty sure the big man [Federer] sometimes is not happy to play on such a surface but he has to play and he has to win.
“Everybody knows he has a favorite surface, but he has also to win on other surfaces. So we have to do it.”
That’s easy for Mourinho to say, as he can easily and conveniently blame his players for not adapting or performing in the event of a draw or defeat.
The final 10 teams to join this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage will be decided over the next eight days, starting Tuesday with five first legs.
Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool — RECAP
This one was a lot of fun for neutrals, as Hoffenheim did not appear timid in its first UEFA Champions League match. Serge Gnabry was especially dangerous, and drew a penalty kick that led to nothing thanks to a tepid effort from Andrej Kramaric and a save from Simon Mignolet.
Sadio Mane won a promising free kick that Trent Alexander-Arnold fulfilled, and James Milner had a cross deflected home to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. Hoffenheim struck back late through Mark Uth, and it’ll probably take a two-goal win or better for the German side to advance to the group stage.
BSC Young Boys 0-1 CSKA Moscow
Spare a thought for Ghanaian center back Kasim Adams Nuhu, who is going to get a lot of flack for a late own goal that was, at worst, a two-way street. Young Boys looked set to head back to Russia knowing a win or scoring draw would get them to the UCL group stage, but Adams headed over his backstop and CSKA Moscow scooped up an own goal.
What do you think?
Qarabag 1-0 FC Copenhagen
Azerbaijan striker Mahir Madatov cleaned up a rebound and gave his side an edge as it heads to the road next week.
APOEL 2-0 Slavia Prague
Igor de Camargo and Efstathios Aloneftis (pictured at top) scored within the first 10 minutes to give the Cypriot hosts a strong result before a trip to Prague.
Sporting CP 0-0 Steaua Bucharest
There could be an upset brewing after the Romanian visitors held strong in Lisbon.