The Italians exited the competition after Maicosuel’s chipped penalty miss in the shoot-out, following a tight encounter in Udine, while the Spaniards edged past Panathinaikos
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|AEL's quest to follow in the footsteps of fellow Cypriots APOEL has ended in heartbreak after a late 2-0 loss to Anderlecht in Beglium.
The minnows had gone into the second leg holding a narrow 2-1 lead, but with the threat of John van den Brom's side's away goal looming, they sat back in an effort to hold on to what they had. Tom De Sutter squandered a great chance for the hosts within the first 10 minutes, before the same player narrowly missed the target after inadvertently diverting Guillaume Gillet's cross goal-wards.
At the other end, Rui Miguel forced an instinctive block from Silvio Proto and Jorge Monteiro sent an effort into the side-netting seconds later. They were made to pay for their wastefulness when Dieumerci Mbokani smashed the ball home with just 10 minutes to spare. Oleksandr Yakovenko made the points safe soon after with a curled effort to send the hosts through to the group stages.
|I. KIRYAT SHMONA||1 (1)
||1 (3)|| BATE
|BATE also secured their place in the Champions League proper with a 1-1 draw against Ironi Kiryat Shmona in Israel.
The Belarusians had held a commanding 2-0 advantage heading into the second leg thanks to their 2-0 win over their opponents in Borisov a week ago, and made a comfortable start to the encounter without making much progress into the Ironi half. Eventually, the hosts began to craft chances, with Laszlo Lencse and Ravid Gazal both missing decent opportunities.
But they were made to wait until the second half for the breakthrough. Artsyom Radzkow brought down Lencse, and the Hungarian was on hand to curl the resulting free kick into the top corner. The hosts desperately went in search of a goal to send the tie to extra time, but were unable to produce a moment of magic, and were undone on the break when Aleksandr Pavlov scored a tie-securing equaliser.
|Stricken Liga outfit Malaga managed to see out their trip to Athens to face Panathinaikos and book a group stage place.
The Spaniards had taken a convincing 2-0 lead into the Greek capital thanks to goals from Martin Demichelis and Eliseu, and immediately set out in pursuit of a third goal to effectively end the tie. Fabrice squandered a chance after a matter of seconds, before Isco sent an effort narrowly wide.
The hosts' best opportunity to pull one back came after 20 minutes when Lazaros Christodoulopoulos sent a free kick straight into the wall. As the match wore on, Malaga became more content to sit back, but the Greeks were unable to craft any openings, and Manuel Pellegrini's men had done enough to progress.
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|Dinamo Zagreb saw out their short trip to Slovenia to face Maribor, and booked their place in the group stage thanks to a narrow 1-0 win.
The Croatians had held a slender 2-1 advantage, but the hosts failed to take the encounter by the scruff of their neck, allowing their visitors to get a foothold in the encounter. Before too long, their dominance began to take effect. Jasmin Handanovic was forced into an acrobatic save to prevent Duje Cop's effort from flying into the top corner and was on hand to deal with the resulting corner.
On 12 minutes, Ante Cacic's men finally took the lead when Sammir's cross was turned back across the face of goal by Cop, leaving Tonel to bundle the ball home.
The hosts picked up the pace after the break, but failed to craft any clear opportunities, and Sammir could have put the visitors ahead with a one-on-one as the match wore on.
In the end, the one strike proved to be enough for the Croatians to progress.
|UDINESE||(2) 1||1 (2)
||BRAGA (4-5 pens)|
|Udinese's dream of reaching the Champions League group stages ended in heartbreak as Francesco Guidolin's men crashed out of the competition on penalties against Braga.
Things started well for the Italians, with Pablo Armero putting his side 2-1 up on aggregate with a powerful header, and the Colombian could have put the tie to bed soon after, only to send a powerful volley straight at Beto. However, after the break, Braga then started to find their feet on the night and created a string of chances.
Hugo Viana sent a shot well over the bar from a decent position, before Zeljko Brkic was forced into a smat save to deny Alan. The Serbian goalkeeper repeated the trick soon after when Ismaily sent a powerful effort towards goal, but the hosts' resistance was broken on 72 mins when Ruben Micael nodded home with Brkic standed. Armero had comically fallen over his feet when through on goal soon before and the Friulians looked to be disorientated, but they managed to hold out until extra time.
Armero missed one more inviting chance, but neither side was able to grab a decisive goal. In the shoot-out, Maicosuel turned out to be the villain, dinking a chipped penalty straight into Beto's hands, and Ruben Micael was there to net the winning spot kick.