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Ajax, AEK and Young Boys reach Champions League group stage

By Opta
Ajax players celebrate after qualifying for UEFA Champions League group stages

Amsterdam, August 29: Ajax, AEK Athens and Young Boys secured their place in the group stage of the Champions League after winning their respective play-off ties.

Eredivisie giants Ajax held Dynamo Kiev to a 0-0 draw in Ukraine on Tuesday (August 28), with their progress assured thanks to a 3-1 victory in the first leg.

AEK, 2-1 winners in the first leg against Videoton, progressed 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in the return game in Greece.

Petros Mantalos broke the deadlock from the penalty spot before Loic Nego equalised 12 minutes into the second half.

AEK survived the final 10 minutes, plus nine minutes of injury time, with only 10 men following a straight red card for Helder Lopes. Marko Livaja was then sent off after the final whistle for his part in a melee on the pitch.

There was a surprise in Croatia, where Young Boys beat Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 to claim a 3-2 aggregate victory and reach the Champions League group stage for the first time.

The Swiss champions looked likely to be heading out after Dinamo took the lead in the first half through Izet Hajrovic, who used to play for Young Boys' domestic rivals Grasshoppers.

However, two goals from Guillaume Hoarau in two second-half minutes secured a famous win for the visitors and sent the home side into the Europa League.

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Story first published: Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 3:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 29, 2018
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