Sports

Ajax close on CL return

London, Aug 23 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/23/2018 12:47:14 PM IST

Ajax are on course to reach the Champions League group stages for the first time since 2014 after beating Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their qualifying play-off round tie. The four-time European champions led inside two minutes as Donny van de Beek turned in Dusan Tadic’s cut-back.

Tomasz Kedziora levelled for Dynamo on 16 minutes, turning in the rebound after a save by Andre Onana.

But goals from Hakim Ziyech and Tadic secured victory for the home side.

Ajax came close to establishing a more dominant advantage for the second leg, but Klaas Jan Huntelaar headed onto the crossbar and Ziyech hit the post.

Elsewhere, AEK Athens followed up victory over Celtic in the third qualifying round by beating Hungarian side MOL Vidi 2-1 in Budapest, as both sides had a man sent off.

Vidi’s Szabolcs Huszti was shown a straight red card for a dangerous challenge after 23 minutes, with AEK going ahead 10 minutes later as Viktor Klonaridis swept in from close range.

Tasos Bakasetas doubled the Greek side’s lead soon after the break with a deflected shot before he was dismissed for a second yellow card. Danko Lazovic pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 67th minute.

Swiss side Young Boys were held 1-1 at home by Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. Kevin Mbabu put the hosts in front inside two minutes but Dinamo keeper Danijel Zagorac made several fine saves before Mislav Orsic equalised just before half-time.

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