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Leagues: Champions League

Shocks in the offing as Champions League approaches 3rd qualifying round


With the Champions League 3rd qualifying round drawing ever closer, a number of clubs are in with a chance of causing real upsets as they bid to qualify for the lucrative group stage.

Irish champions Bohemians have put themselves in a strong position after holding FC Salzburg to a 1-1 draw in Austria but far from basking in their achievement, Bohemians manager Patrick Fenlon has called on his team to finish the job. Speaking to Fenlon said: “They have to finish it off. There’s no point in talking about getting a 1-1 draw in Austria if you end up going out in the home leg.

“I have been in this position before as a player and a coach: you get a big result away from home but you can’t finish the job at home”

“I don’t want a ‘well done’ story and a pat on the back so we can think about next season; I want us to finish it off. I know what it would mean to the club if we can finish it off.”

Another unfancied side in pole position are the Estonian champions FC Levadia Tallinn, who managed a 1-1 draw away to Wisla Krakow. Wisla’s under pressure coach Maciej Skorza could face the sack should his side fail to come through the tie. Speaking after the first leg Skorza said: “I admit I overcoached my team physically. The players were exhausted, but I still thought that it would be enough to win that game.

“The draw is a disaster, however there is the rematch Wednesday.”

Elsewhere, the former group stage participants found their tasks somewhat easier, with Levski Sofia and Partizan Belgrade both winning their first leg ties 4-0, while Maccabi Haifa take a near unassailable 6-0 lead to Israel, for the conclusion of their match with Northern Ireland’s Glentoran.

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