The Malta Independent 25 September 2020, Friday

Red Star, Dinamo Zagreb lose in Champions League qualifiers

Associated Press Thursday, 17 September 2020, 07:54 Last update: about 8 days ago

Long-time rivals Red Star Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb both lost in the third round of Champions League qualifying on Wednesday.

Red Star’s loss in a penalty shootout to Omonia, after a 1-1 draw in Cyprus, ended the Serbian champion’s bid to advance through all four qualifying rounds into the group stage for a third straight year.

Omonia won the shootout 4-2 after Australia defender Miloš Degenek and Italian forward Diego Falcinelli failed from the spot for Red Star.

Dinamo, which also played in the group stage last season, was eliminated 2-1 by Ferencváros in Budapest.

Ferencváros winger Myrto Uzuni scored the winning goal in the second half after his own goal had leveled for Dinamo.

On a good evening for coaches who played in the English Premier League, Ferencváros’s Serhiy Rebrov was joined in the playoff round by two former Blackburn teammates, Omonia’s Henning Berg and Maccabi Tel-Aviv’s Giorgios Donis.

A Maccabi team coached by Dinos for just five weeks beat visiting Dinamo Brest 1-0.

Danish team Midtjylland eased past Young Boys 3-0 at home with three second-half goals.

In another penalty shootout in Cyprus, Molde of Norway beat Qarabag of Azerbaijan after a goalless draw. The game was played in neutral Cyprus because of travel restrictions between during the coronavirus pandemic between the two teams' countries.

All qualifying games in UEFA's club competitions are being played without fans in the stadiums because of the pandemic.

All three rounds so far in Champions League qualifying have been single-leg games in a congested schedule for the delayed season. The playoff round starting next week reverts to traditional two-leg, home-and-away series.

Maccabi will play the first leg at home against Salzburg, and Omonia travels first to face Olympiakos.

Ferencváros plays away first against Molde, and Midtjylland travels to Slavia Prague.

In a separate playoff section, for teams that did not win the title in their higher-ranked domestic league, Krasnodar plays PAOK Thessaloniki and Gent faces Dynamo Kyiv.

The six playoff winners will enter the 32-team group-stage draw on Oct. 1.

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