Borussia Monchengladbach's hopes
of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time were
hit by a 3-1 home defeat by Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of
their playoff tie on Tuesday.
Romanian champions FC Cluj won 2-1 away to FC Basel, last
season's conquerors of Manchester United, while Scottish
champions Celtic earned a 2-0 victory at Helsingborg.
Spartak Moscow, who beat Fenerbahce 2-1, and FC Copenhagen,
1-0 winners over Lille, were the only home teams to win in
Tuesday's five games.
Monchengladbach, beaten European Cup finalists in 1977,
have not played in the elite club competition since the 1977/78
season, but got off to a flying start at home to the three-times
semi-finalists from Ukraine.
Juan Arango produced a long diagonal pass which found
Alexander Ring and he cut inside his marker to put the
Bundesliga side ahead in the 13th minute.
But it was all downhill from there as Gladbach, playing
their first competitive match of the season, were repeatedly
undone by shoddy play.
Taras Mikhalik was allowed too much space before levelling
with a deflected 25-metre shot in the 28th minute, and Andriy
Yarmolenko put the visitors ahead eight minutes later, finishing
clinically after Gladbach lost possession in midfield.
Arango created a flurry of chances in the second half, but
it was Kiev who struck again with more help from the hosts.
Luuk de Jong deflected Miguel Veloso's free-kick into his
own goal in the 81st minute, to leave the Germans needing to
score at least three goals in next week's return leg.
Basel dominated at home to Cluj for the first hour, with
Marco Streller hooking them ahead spectacularly just before
But the Swiss double winners, hoping to qualify for the
Champions League for the third season in a row, were undone as
Senegalese forward Modou Sougou scored twice on the break in the
space of six minutes during the second half.
Celtic took a second-minute lead at Helsingborg when Kris
Commons, left unmarked at the far post, volleyed home Georgios
Samaras' cross, before the Greece striker added the second
himself with a 75th minute header.
Brazilian Cesar Santin's 38th-minute goal gave Copenhagen a
1-0 win over Lille, although the real hero for the Danes was
goalkeeper Johan Wiland, who saved numerous chances included a
Dimitri Payet penalty.
The game between Spartak Moscow and Fenerbahce featured
three second-half goals in the space of 10 minutes.
Emmanuel Emenike opened the scoring for Spartak, only for
Dirk Kuyt to draw the visitors level five minutes later.
However, a fine Dmitry Kombarov volley from Aiden McGeady's
corner in the 69th ensured victory for the home side.
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