Monaco, Aug 30 (IANS) The lineup for the 2018-19 Champions League has been set as Benfica, PSV Eindhoven and Red Star Belgrade have qualified for Europe’s elite club competition.
After managing only a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg, Benfica were far from assured of advancing against PAOK Salonika, who opened the scoring Wednesday night with a goal by Aleksandar Prijovic in the 13th minute, reports Efe news.
Jardel responded for the visitors seven minutes later, heading-in a corner, and Benfica surged ahead in the 26th minute on a penalty.
Eduardo Salvio converted from the line after PAOK goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis brought down an attacker in the box in desperation after failing to gather in the ball.
Pizzi increased Benfica’s advantage to 3-1 with a goal in the 39th minute and Salvio completed the brace four minutes into the second half, again from the penalty spot.
PAOK tried to get back on terms, but whatever chance they had disappeared with the expulsion of Leo Matos in the 76th minute, clearing the way for Benfica to advance 5-2 on aggregate.
In Eindhoven, PSV began with a 3-2 edge over BATE Borisov after winning the first leg in Belarus and added to their advantage just 14 minutes into the contest, as Steven Bergwijn redirected a ball from Luuk de Jong, who went on to score himself in the 36th.
Hirving Lozano got a goal in the 61st minute to seal the 6-2 aggregate victory.
The day’s most exciting contest unfolded in Salzburg, where Red Bull hosted Red Star Belgrade with everything to play for following the 0-0 first leg in the Serbian capital.
The hosts had the better of the chances in the first half and took the lead right before the break on a goal by Moanes Dabour, who converted from the penalty spot three minutes into the second period to give Salzburg a 2-0 advantage.
But Red Star’s Ben Nabouhane turned the game on its head, scoring in the 65th and 66th minutes to make it 2-2, and the Serbian side qualified by virtue of the away goals.