APOEL FC emulated the heroics of Anorthosis Famagusta FC and AC Omonia as they won through to the UEFA Cup first round with a late extra-time away goal at former European champions FK Crvena Zvezda despite being down to ten men. Progress was more serene for 1989 UEFA Cup winners SSC Napoli and group stage regulars SC Braga, but Lothar Matthäus's hopes of leading Maccabi Netanya FC through were ended by PFC Cherno More Varna, one of two victories for Bulgarian sides against Israeli opposition.
FK Crvena Zvezda 3-3 APOEL FC (agg: 5-5 aet, APOEL win on away goals)
Crvena Zvezda seemed to have the edge in the tie after their 2-2 away draw a fortnight ago but on 55 minutes Kamil Kosowski's solo effort put APOEL ahead and two minutes later Hélio Pinto struck from 18 metres out to double their advantage. In the 77th minute Branimir Subašić produced a superb finish after a Vladimir Bogdanović pass to bring Crvena Zvezda back into the tie and captain Nenad Milijaš struck with a long-range free-kick with five minutes left to force extra time. APOEL suffered a double blow late in the first additional period when goalkeeper Dionisis Chiotis was dismissed for bringing down Subašić in the box and Milijaš converted the penalty. However, with only three minutes to go, former FK Partizan striker Nenad Mirosavljavić returned to haunt his Serbian countrymen with a precise finish from close range that gave APOEL the edge on away goals.
SSC Napoli 5-0 KS Vllaznia (agg: 8-0)
Already 3-0 up from the away leg in Albania, the UEFA Intertoto Cup winners hit the post through Samuele Dalla Bona's 32nd-minute header but scored before the break as Walter Gargano's free-kick was turned in by the right foot of Leandro Rinaudo. On 52 minutes Inácio Piá's precise shot increased the lead and not long afterwards Rinaudo headed in Gargano's corner. Ten minutes from time Argentinian forward Ezequiel Lavezzi lobbed in and his compatriot Germán Denis set up Marek Hamšík to complete the biggest aggregate win of the second qualifying round.
NK Slaven Koprivnica 2-0 Aris Thessaloniki FC (agg: 2-1)
Slaven will make their UEFA Cup first round debut after defeating Greek club Aris. Nacho's 13th-minute own-goal levelled the tie, though the visitors were always a threat and they came closest to scoring after 58 minutes when Antonio Calvo's close-range shot was saved by Silvio Rodić. However, six minutes later Vedran Purić crossed for Bojan Vručina to put the Croatian side in front and they held on to progress.
Beşiktaş JK 4-0 NK Široki Brijeg (agg: 6-1)
Beşiktaş will compete in the first round alongside Turkish rivals Kayserispor and Galatasaray AŞ after building on their 2-1 first-leg win in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Uğur İnceman struck for the home side early on with a powerful shot from the right and after half-time Serdar Özkan, Bobô and Rodrigo Tello ended any remaining Široki Brijeg hopes.
NK Zrinjski 0-2 SC Braga (agg: 0-3)
Braga are one step away from a third consecutive group stage campaign after victory in Mostar took them into the first round and ended Bosnia-Herzegovina's involvement in European club competition this season. Already leading 1-0, the Portuguese UEFA Intertoto Cup winners doubled their aggregate advantage in the 56th minute after Luís Aguiar's long pass sent César Peixoto clear to shoot past the Zrinjski goalkeeper and late on Braga substitute Matheus put the result beyond doubt.
PFC Cherno More Varna 2-0 Maccabi Netanya FC (agg: 3-1)
Competition debutants Cherno More continued their excellent run as they saw off Lothar Matthäus's Netanya in Sofia. The visitors were hoping to win a two-legged European tie for the first time despite having been held a fortnight ago in Israel but were behind within eight minutes as Cherno More midfielder Alexander Alexandrov lobbed goalkeeper Liran Strauber from over 40 metres. Netanya pressed hard after the break but were caught on the counterattack with 12 minutes left as home substitute Ricardo André's angled volley decided the game.
Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC 1-2 PFC Litex Lovech (agg: 1-2)
Despite an early scare, Litex ensured another victory for a Bulgarian team against Israeli rivals as goals from Ivelin Popov and Sandrinho helped them into the first round. After securing a goalless draw in the away leg, Kiryat Shmona took the lead after eight minutes when Guy Zarfati tapped the ball home from close range following good work by Omer Peretz. However, Popov struck in the 20th minute top put the visitors ahead in the tie on away goals. Sandrinho then found the target early in the second half to take Litex through.
Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC 3-0 FK Vojvodina (agg: 3-0)
There was better fortune for Israeli football in Tel-Aviv as Samuel Yeboah, Gil Vermouth and Shay Abutbul safely guided Hapoel through. Having drawn 0-0 in Serbia, Yeboah gave Hapoel the initiative in the tie with a 29th-minute header following Abutbul's centre. Vermouth then extended the lead on 58 minutes with a deflected shot from 25 metres before Abutbul completed the scoring from the penalty spot 14 minutes from time.
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