Champions League: Ajax Amsterdam meets Thomas Doll
Thomas Doll has passed his first test as new coach of Apoel Nicosia. The former coach of Bundesliga relegated Hannover 96 won with the Cypriot football club the return leg in the third qualifying round of the Champions League at Azerbaijani champion FK Qarabag 2: 0 (1: 0). The first leg in Nicosia had lost Apoel 1: 2 and then separated from coach Paolo Tramezzani.
Tomás De Vincenti (34 minutes / penalty) and Urosh Matich (68) scored in Baku, the two goals that brought Apoel in the playoffs of the Champions League qualification. "It's a fantastic moment for a wonderful club," said Doll, who was presented to the Cyprus champions last Thursday and signed a contract until May 2021.
Now it will be difficult for Doll and his team: The upcoming playoff opponent is Ajax Amsterdam. The Champions League semi-finalist won 3: 1 (1: 1) against PAOK Saloniki (first leg 2: 2). The Dutch were even with a goal by Diego Biseswar (23) even 0: 1 back. Then Dusan Tadic scored a penalty (43.), after the Serb had failed with a first penalty yet to Salonikis keeper Alexandros Paschalakis (32). Nicolas Tagliafico (79.) and again Tadic (85./Foulelfmeter) secured the entry into the next round.
Celtic Glasgow has to bury its Champions League dream against it. The Scottish champions lost 3: 4 (0: 1) against CfR Cluj of Romania and have to content themselves with the Europa League group stage after the 1-1 draw from the first leg. Bitter for Celtic: The team had been 3: 2 in the lead until the 80th minute.
With FC Porto, another prominent side failed in the third qualifying round, the Portuguese did not come out against FK Krasnodar over two draws (1-1 in the first leg, 3: 3 in the second leg) and had due to the away goals rule out of hand. The FC Porto was in the preseason in the quarterfinals of the premier class and dropped out there against the eventual winner FC Liverpool; The club is not represented in the group stage of the premier class with the qualification for the first time since 2010.
The playoffs start next week on Tuesday (including the first leg between Apoel and Ajax) and end on 28 August.