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          POAK, Gent & Dynamo Kyiv one win from group stage

          Vertonghen own goal sees Benfica out of Champions League

          2020/09/15 22:42
          By Daniel Oliveira
          E0

          An own-goal from former Tottenham star Jan Vertonghen started off a miserable night for Benfica who crashed out of Champions League qualification after a shocking 2-1 defeat against PAOK at the Toumba Stadium in Greece.

          After a competitive first-half, where Benfica missed a handful of clear-cut chances to take the lead, it was left to the Greeks to take the lead in the second 45, after former Tottenham captain Jan Vertonghen deflected a cross in to his own goal from former Arsenal academy prospect, Chuba Akpom.

          With PAOK ahead, it became easy for the Greek side to exploit counter-attacking opportunities as Benfica were more exposed and looking to level the game. Eventually, the decisive goal came through a former Benfica player Andrija Zivkovic who doubled PAOK's lead with less than 15 minutes to play.

          With PAOK all but through, Benfica pulled one back in stoppage time through Rafa Silva, but it wasn't enough to take the game to extra-time.

          In the other Champions League qualification games, Dynamo Kyiv knocked out AZ Alkmaar with two second-half goals, taking the Ukrainians to the next round. While in Belgium, Gent qualified after a 2-1 win over Rapid Wien.

          The results mean PAOK, Dynamo Kyiv and Gent are now just one more win from the lucrative Champions League group stages.

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