Former European Cup winners had mixed fortunes in Champions League qualifying as Ajax Amsterdam and Red Star Belgrade squeezed into the playoff round while Celtic and Porto were eliminated after a dramatic evening on Tuesday.
Ajax, semi-finalists last season, came from behind to beat PAOK 3-2 for a 5-4 aggregate win over the Greeks while Red Star knocked out FC Copenhagen on penalties after a bizarre shootout involving 22 spot-kicks.
Krasnodar sprung a major upset with a 3-2 win at Porto to advance on away goals after losing the home leg 1-0 and Romania’s Cluj won 4-3 at Celtic to eliminate the Scottish champions 5-4 on aggregate.
Ajax youth academy reject Diego Biseswar fired PAOK ahead with a thumping shot at the Johan Cruyff Arena before Dusan Tadic, having had a penalty saved, equalised with another one before halftime.
PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis pulled off a string of superb saves but was undone by a Nicolas Tagliafico header and another Tadic penalty before Biseswar set up a tense finish with a stoppage-time effort.
Ghanaian forward Richmond Boakye fired Red Star ahead in Copenhagen and Dame N’Doye levelled to force the shootout in which the Danish champions missed two chances to progress before they were dumped out by visiting keeper Milan Borjan.
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