Ferencvaros, Dynamo and Olympiakos reach Champions League group stage
BUDAPEST: Ferencvaros reached the Champions League group stage for the first time in 25 years after a 0-0 draw with Molde in their playoff round return leg on Tuesday sent the Hungarian side through on away goals following a 3-3 draw in Norway.
Dynamo Kiev joined them after a 3-0 home win over Gent completed their 5-1 aggregate rout of the Belgians, as did Olympiakos Piraeus whose 0-0 draw at Omonoia Nicosia was enough for a 2-0 overall victory against the Cypriots.
Ferencvaros snatched a fortuitous high-scoring draw in Norway and rode their luck again in Budapest as the visitors missed several chances to advance.
Molde’s Etzaz Hussain blazed a shot that was deflected over the bar from close range in the 55th minute before Erik Hestad spurned a gilt-edged opportunity in the 76th, with goalkeeper Denes Dibusz pulling off a fine save.
Substitute Ola Brynhildsen shot inches wide in the dying minutes as Molde piled the pressure on by pounding long balls and crosses into the Ferencvaros penalty area, but the home side’s packed defence held firm.
Dynamo’s Vitaliy Buyalskiy put them ahead with a classy backheel in the ninth minute before talented midfielder Mykola Shaparenko rattled the post with a superb volley from 20 metres.
Carlos De Pena netted the first of Dynamo’s two penalties to make it 2-0, rifling in a low spot-kick in the 36th minute after Gent defender Igor Plastun handled a Gerson Rodrigues cross.
Luxembourg forward Rodrigues added the third early in the second half after Vladyslav Supryaha was hauled down by right back Nurio Fortuna, sending Roef the wrong way with his penalty.
Olympiakos made light work of eliminating Omonoia as they never looked in danger of losing their two-goal advantage from the first leg, with home keeper Fabiano making a string of good saves to deny the Greeks an even bigger aggregate win.
In Wednesday’’s action, Krasnodar defend a 2-1 first-leg lead at PAOK Salonika, Midtjylland host Slavia Prague after a goalless stalemate in the Czech Republic while Salzburg entertain Maccabi Tel Aviv after beating them 2-1 in Israel. – Reuters