SALONIKA, Greece: Former European Cup winners Benfica crashed out of the Champions League third qualifying spherical after a shock 2-1 defeat at PAOK Salonika on Tuesday as Serbia winger Andrija Zivkovic scored in opposition to his former membership per week after leaving them.
Dynamo Kiev additionally superior to the playoff spherical with a 2-Zero residence win over Dutch aspect AZ Alkmaar, as did Belgians Gent after they beat guests Rapid Vienna 2-1.
PAOK’S reward is a two-legged playoff in opposition to Russians Krasnodar, whereas Dynamo face Gent for berths within the money-spinning group stage that includes 32 groups.
Benfica, who gained Europe’s premier membership competitors in 1961 and 1962, noticed final season’s woes spill over into this time period as Zivkovic, who endured 4 tough seasons in Portugal, rubbed salt into their wounds.
Having seen the home league and cup double go to Porto final time period, Benfica missed a string of possibilities in opposition to PAOK in a one-sided first half as they loved 72% of possession.
They have been punished after the break as Dimitrios Giannoulis poked within the opener from shut vary within the 63rd minute after a one-two with Chuba Akpom and substitute Zivkovic made it 2-Zero within the 75th with a candy shot contained in the close to submit.
Rafa Silva pulled one again with a stoppage time header but it surely got here too late to keep away from an embarrassing defeat which can pile strain on supervisor Jorge Jesus, who returned to Benfica through the shut season for a second spell in cost.
Having been in cost from 2009 to 2015, Jesus went on to win the elusive double of the Brazilian league title and Copa Libertadores with Flamengo in 2019 however now faces a mammoth process to get Benfica again to profitable methods.
Dynamo soaked up strain on residence soil in opposition to Alkmaar within the first half earlier than Luxembourg ahead Gerson Rodrigues fired them forward simply after the break with a neat end into the roof of the online because of good work by Vitaliy Buyalskiy.
Mykola Shaparenko sealed their passage with a late header after visiting keeper Marco Bizot misjudged Tomasz Kedziora’s cross from the suitable which left the midfielder with the straightforward process of nodding the ball into an empty internet.
Niklas Dorsch headed Gent right into a 36th-minute lead in opposition to Rapid from a pinpoint Sven Kums help and Roman Yaremchuk added the second with a penalty on the hour earlier than Yusuf Demir netted a stoppage time comfort for the guests.
In Wednesday’s standout fixtures, 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade go to Cypriots Omonia Nicosia whereas Dinamo Zagreb are at Hungarian champions Ferencvaros.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ken Ferris)