Lisbon with a Canadian victory, Qarabag Agdam surprises
The participants of the Champions League group stage have been decided. In addition to Lisbon, Moscow and Nicosia, there was also a surprise from Azerbaijan. Sporting Lisbon, CSKA Moscow, APOEL Nicosia and Qarabag Agdam are allowed to continue to play in the Champions League. The quartet secured the last of the 32 tickets for the lucrative group stage of the royal class alongside Hoffenheim’s Liverpool, while Lisbon won 5-1 (1-1) at the traditional Romanian club Steaua Bucharest, avoiding the impending nail-biting game that had threatened to take place in the first leg after the 0-0 draw. The former Wolfsburg-based Bas Dost met Russia’s runners-up ZSKA 4-1 at home 2-0 (1-0) against the Young Boys Bern as in the first leg (1-0) and entered the group stage for the fifth time in a row. The biggest surprise of the play-offs was Qarabag Agdam from Azerbaijan, who reached the group stage for the first time despite a 1:2 (0:1) at FC Copenhagen. The first leg was won 1-0 by the club based in the capital Baku. Dino Ndlovu scored the important away goal 1-1 and kicked out the Danes, who had been coached by former Cologne coach Staale Solbakken, and Nicosia scored 0-0 at Slavia Prague, with the first leg won 2-0. For the Czech champion, who was prominently strengthened in the summer with ex-Augsburg’s Halil Altintop, among others, the dream of taking part in the second group phase after 2007/08 burst.