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Upsets in the offing ahead of second legs

Debreceni VSC, HJK Helsinki and Rosenborg BK are among the sides whose progress is far from certain ahead of Wednesday's second qualifying round second legs.

Žilina need to get the better of Birkirkara at the Pod Dubňom Stadium
Žilina need to get the better of Birkirkara at the Pod Dubňom Stadium ©MŠK Žilina

Friday's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round draw threw up some intriguing ties but there is still work to be done for those in the second phase, with Debreceni VSC, HJK Helsinki and Rosenborg BK among those whose progress remains uncertain ahead of Wednesday's second legs.

AC Omonia, The New Saints FC and PFC Litex Lovech secured comfortable paths through on Tuesday, while FC Salzburg, FC Sheriff and NK Dinamo Zagreb also march on despite losing on the night. Dinamo prevailed by a solitary goal in the end despite having won 5-1 against FC Koper in the first instalment, but Israeli titleholders Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC and Belarusian counterparts FC BATE Borisov will still be confident after hitting five against FK Željezničar and FH Hafnarfjördur respectively.

Debrecen from Hungary, group-stage participants last season, face a challenge of their own if they are to meet FC Basel 1893 following a 1-1 draw with FC Levadia Tallinn in Estonia last week. HJK, contenders in 1998/99, must come from 1-0 behind against FK Ekranas of Lithuania as the scene shifts to Finland. FK Partizan or FC Pyunik await the winners, the Serbians currently 3-1 to the good.

Rosenborg, last in the competition proper five years ago, need to overcome Linfield FC following a goalless draw in Northern Ireland in order to book a third round tie with either AIK or AS La Jeunesse d'Esch, the Luxembourg outfit trailing 1-0.

Perhaps the most surprising of the first-leg victors were Birkirkara FC, who beat Slovakia's finest, MŠK Žilina, thanks to Nikola Vukanac's first-minute goal in Malta. They will look to capitalise on that eye-catching result in order to book a third round tie against Litex.

Joining Birkirkara, AIK and Ekranas with the slenderest of advantages heading into Wednesday's returns are KKS Lech Poznań, who lead FC İnter Bakı 1-0 as they seek to ensure they meet either SK Liepājas Metalurgs or AC Sparta Praha, with the Czech outfit having won 3-0 in Latvia. The third qualifying round ties will take place on 27/28 July and 3/4 August.