Astana stun Apoel Nicosia to become first Kazakhstani team in Champions League
Bayer Leverkusen, CSKA Moscow and BATE Borisov will join them in the draw
FC Astana’s players celebrate after advancing to the UEFA Champions League group stage after the Qualifying Round Play Off Second Leg match between APOEL Nicosia and FC Astana at GSP stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Photo: Getty Images
A late Nemanja Maksimovic equaliser was enough to see FC Astana into the Champions League group stages - becoming the first ever team from Kazakhstan to do so.
Going into the tie 1-0 up from the first leg, Semir Stilic cancelled out that lead with a 60th minute strike.
However, Maksimovic managed to find the net with six minutes to go to see the Kazakhstani team into Thursday afternoon’s group stage draw.
Meanwhile, there was major drama in Moscow as CSKA scored three second half goals to come from behind and send Sporting Lisbon crashing out of the tournament.
After losing 2-1 in Portugal things looked to be going Lisbon’s way when a Teofilo Gutierrez goal put them ahead shortly before half-time.
After conquering Dundalk in the previous round BATE went into tonight’s game on the back of a 1-0 home win.
The doubled that lead with a vital away goal from Igor Stasevich after 25 minutes.