Club Brugge

Photo by Philippe Crochet/ Photonews via Getty Images

Real Madrid comes back to draw 10-man Club Brugge

Leave a comment

Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis scored a pair of first half goals to give Club Brugge a stunning lead over Real Madrid en route to a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

Sergio Ramos pulled a goal back via a razor-thin onside call which withstood VAR, and Casemiro nodded an equalizer home in the 85th minute. That was a minute after Club Brugge’s Ruud Vormer was sent off for a second yellow card.

Real dominated the second half but its lone point leaves it bottom of the group, three goals of differential back of Galatasaray. The Turkish side drew Club Brugge and meets PSG later.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Club Brugge chased Thibaut Courtois from the match at halftime, and perhaps the move was massive as Alphonse Areola stopped Dennis’ breakaway bid for a hat trick.

Courtois has not been in form, but the move was still surprising given that both of Dennis’ goals had an element of the fortunate to them.

Toni Kroos and Casemiro willed Real back into the match, as attacker Eden Hazard continued his early season struggles at Real.

UCL roundup: Ajax qualify for group stage thanks to Mexico’s Alvarez

Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Thursday’s UEFA Champions League qualifying action…

[ UCL POTS/DRAW: Where will Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs end up? ]

Ajax 2-0 (2-0) APOEL Nicosia

Wednesday was a good day for both the United States and Mexico national teams, with regard to Ajax’s Champions League fortunes, as 18-year-old American right back Sergiño Dest and 21-year-old Mexican defender Edson Alvarez shone brightly.

Dest, just hours after receiving his first call-up to Gregg Berhalter’s senior national team, played all 90 minutes for last season’s semifinalists and acquitted himself quite well in Ajax’s biggest game of the season thus far. Alvarez, who is a virtual lock to be named to Tata Martino’s team for next week’s clash with the USMNT, bagged the opening goal — his first for Ajax after joining the reigning Eredivisie champions for $17 million this summer.

[ MORE: Zlatan open to Man United return | USMNT squad for Mexico clash ]

Ajax thought they had a second in the 50th minute, but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar saw his goal wiped away for a rather dubious offside decision via video review.

No need for Ajax to fret, though, as Dusan Tadic finished a free-flowing sequence with a stunning strike from a tight angle in the 80th minute to make it 2-0 on the day, and on aggregate.

Elsewhere in UCL qualifying

Club Brugge 2-1 (3-1) LASK
Slavia Prague 1-0 (2-0) CFR Cluj

LIVE, UCL: Amid tense encounters, Ajax battle for group stage

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The second legs of the UEFA Champions League playoff round take center stage on Wednesday, as Ajax, Club Brugge and Slavia Prague all host ties which are in the balance.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

All three games will be tight and tense occasions as the winners will get the final three spots in the UCL group stage for the 2019-20 season.

Ajax, who reached the semifinals of the UCL last season, drew 0-0 away at APOEL Nicosia last time out and were pretty lucky to get that result. They are expected to advance in Amsterdam but their young team has to improve as the Cypriot champions looked dangerous on set pieces and counter attacks in the first leg.

Club Brugge and Slavia Prague both have slender advantages heading into the second legs, with Brugge winning 1-0 against Linz ASK in Austria and Slavia winning by the same scoreline in Romania against Cluj in the first leg. With so much on the line financially for all of these clubs, Wednesday’s clashes will be nail-bitters.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s games, with all games kicking 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.

Ajax v. APOEL Nicosia (0-0)
Slavia Prague v. CFR Cluj (1-0)
Club Brugge v. LASK (1-0)

UCL qualifying: Slavia Prague wins via golazo; 10-man Ajax held

Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

Wednesday’s matches

All matches at 3 p.m. ET

Dinamo Zagreb v. Rosenborg
Olympiacos v. Krasnodar
Young Boys v. Red Star Belgrade

Live, UCL: Ajax in action as playoff round begins

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The first legs of the UEFA Champions League playoff round kick off on Tuesday, as Ajax, Club Brugge and Slavia Prague all head on road trips as they hope to clear the final hurdle and reach the group stage.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

It is rather outrageous that Ajax, the reigning Dutch champions who reached the semifinal of the UCL last season, have to qualify for this tournament, but here they are. Dusan Tadic (fresh from signing a new seven-year contract) is once again leading the charge for this young Dutch side who have lost Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt over the summer, and edged past PAOK 5-4 on aggregate in the last round. Ajax head to APOEL Nicosia of Cyprus in the first leg and hope to have a healthy advantage to take back with them to Amsterdam for the second leg next week.

Club Brugge head to LASK Linz from Austria as USMNT goalkeeper Evan Horvath now faces real competition for his starting spot as Belgian national team and former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet arrived over the summer. LASK shocked FC Basel in the third qualifying round

As for the other game on Tuesday, CFR Cluj host Slavia Prague in Romania in a clash between two teams who have been making waves in Europe over the past few years. Cluj knocked Celtic out in the last round and it will be quite the occasion in Transylvania, as Slavia’s star man is Romanian international Nicolae Stanciu.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, with all games kicking off at 3 p.m. ET. Three more UCL playoff games take place on Wednesday.

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.

APOEL Nicosia v. Ajax
CFR Cluj v. Slavia Prague
LASK v. Club Brugge