March 7, 2021

CL round up: AZ Alkmaar survive scare to progress

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Cluj lose 6-5 on penalties to Dinamo Zagreb after 2-2 draw; Young Boys progress

Last Updated: 26/08/20 11:17pm

AZ Alkmaar celebrate their victory in the Champions League third qualifying round AZ Alkmaar celebrate their victory in the Champions League third qualifying round

AZ Alkmaar celebrate their victory in the Champions League third qualifying round

Dutch club AZ Alkmaar needed an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage-time to stay alive against Czech side Plzen before winning 3-1 after extra-time.

Plzen led through David Limbersky’s 78th-minute goal but Teun Koopmeiners levelled from the penalty spot at the death. Albert Gudmundsson put the hosts in front eight minutes into extra-time before Koopmeiners sealed victory.

The night’s most dramatic tie was in Cluj where the Romanians lost 6-5 on penalties to Dinamo Zagreb after the teams were locked at 2-2 after extra-time. Gabriel Debeljuh’s stoppage-time goal for Cluj had taken it into the additional period.

Cluj - who knocked out Celtic last year - suffered a shootout defeat Cluj - who knocked out Celtic last year - suffered a shootout defeat

Cluj – who knocked out Celtic last year – suffered a shootout defeat

Cluj also missed a penalty, while Zagreb played for more than an hour with 10 men after Kevin Theophile-Catherine was sent off for conceding the spot-kick.

Maccabi Tel Aviv booked their place in the final qualifying round with a 3-0 win at Lithuania’s Suduva with Avi Rikan, Nick Blackman and Ofir Davidzada scoring the goals.

Norwegian champions Molde came from a goal down to beat Slovenia’s Celje 2-1, while Ercan Kara’s strike earned Rapid Vienna a 1-0 win over Lokomotiva Zagreb.

Young Boys of Switzerland eased through 3-1 against Faroe Island champions Ki.

Jean-Pierre Nsame and Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu celebrate for Young Boys Jean-Pierre Nsame and Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu celebrate for Young Boys

Jean-Pierre Nsame and Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu celebrate for Young Boys

Celtic have mopped up nine successive Scottish titles but when it comes to Europe they are often found wanting and they failed to even reach the final qualifying round for the first time since 2005.

They made a dreadful start at an empty Celtic Park as David Siger’s long-range shot gave Ferencvaros a seventh-minute lead.

Celtic had 25 goal attempts but, with French striker Odsonne Edouard missing due to injury, they were wasteful.

Celtic captain Scott Brown after the Champions League defeat to Ferencvaros Celtic captain Scott Brown after the Champions League defeat to Ferencvaros

Celtic captain Scott Brown after the Champions League defeat to Ferencvaros

Ryan Christie’s 53rd-minute deflected shot dragged them level and it seemed that slice of luck would turn the tie in their favour. But Tokmac had other ideas, scoring the winner for the Hungarian champions with 15 minutes remaining.

“It’s massively disappointing,” boss Neil Lennon said. “It’s anger and frustration. It’s not fine going out at this stage of the competition, because we’re better than that.

“We need to get our mentality right. The game was actually a lot easier than what I thought it was going to be, but we didn’t take our chances.”

French club Dinamo Brest beat Sarajevo 2-1, Cypriots Omonia beat Legia Warsaw 2-0 away and Denmark’s Midtjylland were 1-0 winners at Bulgaria’s Ludogorets.