Champions League round-up: Ajax held by Standard Liege, Benfica edge Fenerbahce

Standard Liege fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Ajax, while Benfica edged Fenerbahce 1-0 in Champions League third qualifying round, first-leg ties on Tuesday.

After going in 2-0 down at half-time, Mehdi Carcela pulled one back for Liege before Renaud Emond scored a 94th-minute penalty to equalise after Ajax striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Dusan Tadic put the Dutch side ahead.

Visitors Ajax had looked comfortable after former Southampton winger Tadic set up the first goal with a swerving cross before drilling home the second himself. However, Belgian side Liege clawed their way back into the game and Emond struck the woodwork before slotting home from the spot after Noussair Mazraoui fouled substitute Moussa Djenepo.

The winners of the tie in Amsterdam next week will face either Slavia Prague or Dynamo Kiev in the play-off round for a place in the Champions League group stage.

Slavia Prague and Dynamo Kiev drew 1-1 in the Czech capital after Josef Husbauer’s 95th-minute penalty for a dominant Slavia cancelled out Benjamin Verbic’s 82nd-minute opener.

In Lisbon, Benfica earned a narrow victory in a match they controlled as Franco Cervi’s deflected strike after 69 minutes handed them the advantage over Fenerbahce, with both teams entering in this round of the qualifying process.

Fenerbahce will hope to stage a second-leg comeback to secure a play-off against PAOK Athens or Spartak Moscow, who meet on Wednesday.

Stanislav Dragun’s header earned BATE Borisov a 1-0 win at last season’s Champions League group qualifiers Qarabag, with the eventual winners facing PSV Eindhoven.

Dinamo Zagreb won 2-0 at Astana, who reached the group stage in 2015, with goals from Mario Budimir and the impressive Dani Olmo to put one foot in the play-offs where Young Boys await.

Elsewhere, Malmo drew 1-1 with Vidi and Red Star Belgrade were held by Spartak Trnava with the same scoreline.

Source.