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Celtic and Porto crash out as Ajax survive almighty scare

Celtic and Porto crash out as Ajax survive almighty scare

13/08/2019 at 21:38Updated 14/08/2019 at 09:27

Celtic twice let a winning position slip as they crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Cluj in the third qualification round.

The Scottish champions needed a scoreless draw or a win to progress to the group stage at Parkhead, having come away from the away leg of the tie with a 1-1 draw last week in Romania.

However, their task was made all the harder when Ciprian Deac put the visitors ahead just before the half-hour mark.

Celtic turned the tie around after the break with goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard but the visitors drew level via Billel Omrani.

Ryan Christie put Neil Lennon's side back ahead before Omrani's penalty equalised the tie once more. With Celtic pushing to avoid an away goals defeat George Tucudean sealed the tie deep into stoppage time.

Elsewhere, last year's semi-finalists Ajax survived a similar scare against PAOK Salonika after drawing the away leg 2-2 in Greece a week ago.

Diego Biseswar put the visitors up in Amsterdam before two Dusan Tadic penalties either side of a Nicolas Tagliafico effort looked to have made the Dutch side safe.

Biseswar scored a penalty of his own in the 93rd minute but it was too little too late and Erik ten Hag's side scored a 5-4 aggregate win.

Porto's attempts at a heroic second-half comeback proved to be in vain after they suffered an away goals exit to Krasnodar.

Having won away in Russia, the Portuguese side's task was seemingly simple but they were 3-0 down at the break on home soil after Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov's double added to Tonny Vilhena's opener.

Ze Luis and Luis Diaz scored twice for the hosts but they were unable to get a third goal that would have seen equalise on the night and edge the tie on aggregate.

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