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

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.

However, a Seydou Doumbia brace saw the game heading for extra-time before Ahmed Musa netted with five minutes to go to send the Russian team into the group stages.

It was a night of drama in the playoffs and the tie between Partizan Belgrade and BATE Borisov was no different.

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.

Partizan fought back late on Maksim Zhavnerchik own goal and a Ivan Saponjic strike got them back on level terms but it was a case of too little, too late as BATE scrambled through on away goals.

It was less of a struggle for Bayer Leverkusen as goals from Hakan Calhanoglu, Admir Mehmedi and Karim Bellarabi saw them cruise by Lazio, winning 3-1 on aggregate.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.