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Live, UCL: Olympiacos, Red Star in playoff action

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Three more UEFA Champions League playoff round games take place on Wednesday, as the final six places for the UCL group stage are up for grabs.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Ajax, Club Brugge and Slavia Prague have the slight advantage after their UCL playoff first leg games away at APOEL Nicosia, LASK and CFR Cluj on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s games will be similarly tight affairs with so much on the line.

Dinamo Zagreb host Norwegian giants Rosenborg, while Swiss champions Young Boys head to Red Star Belgrade and Russian side FC Krasnodar travel to Olympiacos. It is tough to select some favorites from these games, but the three home teams will be eager to take healthy leads with them on the road for the second leg.

To get to this stage Red Star defeated FC Copenhagen on penalty kicks, while Olympiacos beat Istanbul Basaksehir, Rosenborg hammered Maribor, Krasnodar edged out Porto on away goals, Dinamo Zagreb beat Ferencvaros and Young Boys enter the competition at this stage.

In recent seasons these teams have struggled when it comes to this competition, but Red Star did beat Liverpool in the UCL group stage last season. Young Boys finished bottom of Group H behind Juventus, Man United and Valencia.

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.


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

Champions League wrap: Big day for the visitors

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Celtic and Porto are among the Champions League hopefuls who survived away challenges with their advancement hopes in fine shape after first legs of the third qualifying round.

[ MORE: ACL fears for Sane ]

Many of the ties remain tight, as the first five matches did Tuesday.

Krasnodar 0-1 Porto

Sergio Oliveira smashed a 90th minute free kick home to give Porto a vital away goal heading back to Portugal.

CFR Cluj 1-1 Celtic

James Forrest’s equalizer stands as Celtic’s away goal heading into a second leg which is still very tight.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon said he hopes to reinvest money if Kieran Tierney is bought by Arsenal before the end of Thursday’s deadline, but is staying tight-lipped about any deal.

“I don’t know anything. I’ve said the last few days it wouldn’t surprise me (if Arsenal came with a better offer). I don’t have any confirmation of that at all.”

Istanbul Basaksehir 0-1 Olympiacos

The 10-man Turkish hosts missed a penalty kick in stoppage time to make Giorgos Masouras’ goal that much more powerful.

FC Basel 1-2 LASK

It could’ve been worse for the favored hosts, who were down 2-0 until Luca Zuffi scored in the 87th minute. at St. Jakob-Park.

Maribor 1-3 Rosenborg

Alexander Soderlund scored two of the Norwegians’ three goals to build a very comfortable lead heading back home.

Live, UCL: Celtic, Red Star, Dundalk in qualifying action

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The second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday, as the first legs kick off across Europe.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Scottish champions Celtic should get through a tricky test against Nomme from Estonia, while Cluj host Maccabi Tel-Aviv in what should be an intriguing clash.

Red Star Belgrade, who beat Liverpool in the group stage last season, face HJK Helsinki, while Irish champions Dundalk play Azerbaijan champs Qarabag.

Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s games, with the second legs played next week. Click on the link above to follow all of the action live.


UCL second qualifying round, first leg – Wednesday, July 24

BATE v. Rosenborg – 1 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv – 2 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta – 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK – 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK – 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag – 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju – 2:45 p.m. ET

Former Denmark forward apologizes for Copenhagen episode

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OSLO, Norway (AP) Former Denmark international Niklas Bendtner has apologized for an episode over the weekend in which a cab driver in Copenhagen reportedly broke his jaw.

The Rosenborg forward says he had been “involved in a very unpleasant situation at around 2 a.m. Sunday. I am of course extremely sorry about that the outcome.”

[ MORE: USMNT-Mexico preview ]

Bendtner’s lawyer told Danish media that his client is innocent of any wrongdoing. The cab company says it has handed a video of the episode over to the police.

Bendtner’s girlfriend said on Instagram that the player had acted in self-defense after a quarrel over the fare.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

UEFA Champions League qualifying draw

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The draw for the first two rounds of UEFA Champions League qualifying has been made in Nyon, Switzerland.

Scottish champions Celtic were among the seeds for the draw as Brendan Rodgers‘ men will arrive in the second qualifying round and face either Northern Irish champs Linfield or SP La Fiorita of San Marino.

Other seeded clubs in the draw include Malmo of Sweden, Rosenberg of Norway and Polish outfit Legia Warsaw.

Below is the draw for the first two rounds of qualifying in full.

The first round games will be played on 27/28 June and 4/5 July. The second round games will be played on 11/12 July and 18/19 July.


Champions League first qualifying round

Vikingur (Faroe Isles) v Trepca ’89 (Kosovo)

Hibernians (Malta) v Tallinn (Estonia)

Alashkert (Armenia) v Santa Coloma (Andorra)

The New Saints v Europa (Gibraltar)

Linfield v SP La Fiorita (San Marino)

Champions League second qualifying round

Group 1

Apoel (Cyprus) v Dudelange (Luxembourg)

Zalgiris (Lithuania) v Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria)

Qarabag (Azerbaijan) v Samtredia (Georgia)

Partizan (Serbia) v Budućnost Podgorica (Montenegro)

Hibernians (Malta) or FCI Tallinn (Estonia) v Salzburg (Austria)

Group 2

Sheriff (Moldova) v Kukes (Albania)

Astana (Kazakhstan) v Spartaks Jurmala (Latvia)

BATE Borisov (Belarus) v Alashkert (Armenia) or FC Santa Coloma (Andorra)

Zilina (Slovakia) v Copenhagen (Denamrk)

Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel) v Budapest Honvéd (Hungary)

Rijeka (Croatia) v The New Saints or Europa (Gibraltar)

Group 3

Malmo (Sweden) v Vardar (Macedonia)

Zrinjski (Bosnia and Herzegovina) v Maribor (Slovenia)

Dundalk (Ireland) v Rosenborg (Norway)

FH Hafnarfjördur (Iceland) v Víkingur (Faroe Islands) or Trepça ’89 (Kosovo)

Linfield or SP La Fiorita (San Marino) v Celtic

IFK Mariehamn (Finland) v Legia Warszawa (Poland)