The stage is set for Friday's UEFA Champions League play-off draw in Nyon – streamed live on UEFA.com from 12.00CET – after the third qualifying round concluded with a flurry of goals and penalty excitement.
BSC Young Boys claimed a famous victory in Turkey, a 1-0 win enough to see off a Fenerbahçe SK side forced to play much of the second period with ten men 3-2 on aggregate. Things were more comfortable for SC Braga, FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Zenit St. Petersburg in the League route – the qualifying path involving non-champions from Europe's top 15 associations – but AFC Ajax endured a nervous finale as they edged past PAOK FC on away goals.
The quintet will be joined in the draw by five newcomers – AJ Auxerre, SV Werder Bremen, UC Sampdoria, Sevilla FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC – though the ten domestic titleholders competing in the Champions route all had to come through qualifying. FC Basel 1893, RSC Anderlecht and FC København all negotiated potentially tricky ties, though in one of the shocks of the round NK Dinamo Zagreb lost 6-5 on penalties to Moldova's FC Sheriff.
In both routes teams will be divided into two groups of five for the draw; five seeded and five unseeded in accordance with UEFA club coefficient rankings. The play-offs are played over two legs on 17/18 and 24/25 August. The ten play-off winners will join the 22 automatic entrants in the UEFA Champions League group stage, the draw for which is held in Monaco at 18.00CET on 26 August.
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