Champions League - Benfica, Lyon progress

Wed, 24 Aug 20:33:00 2011

Twice former European champions Benfica joined French side Lyon in the Champions League draw after respective wins in qualifying.

Benfica's Axel Witsel, from Belgium, 2nd right, scores his second goal against Twente during their Champions League play-offs second leg soccer match Wednesday, Aug. 24 2011, at Benfica's Luz stadium in Lisbon - 0

Benfica overcame Twente Enschede 3-1 while Lyon made it 12 appearances in a row by holding out for a 1-1 draw at Rubin Kazan in the play-off second legs.

Czech champions Viktoria Plzen qualified for the first time, beating FC Copenhagen 2-1, and BATE Borisov knocked out Sturm Graz.

And with Arsenal coming from behind to win 2-1 at Udinese, the line-up for Thursday's group stage draw in Monaco was completed.

Trabzonspor were named by UEFA as Turkey's representatives earlier on Wednesday after Fenerbahce were pulled out by the Turkish FA over the country's match-fixing scandal.

Benfica, starting with 11 foreign players including eight South Americans and boosted by a 2-2 away draw last week, scored three times in the second half with two from new Belgian signing Alex Witsel and one from Brazilian Luisao.

Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz replied for Twente.

Lyon's progress was far less comfortable at Rubin Kazan where Bebras Natcho volleyed in Obafemi Martins's pass with 13 minutes left, leaving the Russians one goal from an away goals win.

But they were left deflated after Bakary Kone was first to an inswinging corner to head the equaliser three minutes from time and send OL through 4-2 on aggregate.

Plzen, 3-1 up from the away leg, had a fright when Costa Rica midfielder Christian Bolanos gave visitors FC Copenhagen a first-half lead.

Marek Bakos knocked home Petr Jiracek's cross from close range to level in the 67th minute, his sixth goal of the qualifiers, and Michal Duris struck deep into stoppage time to complete a 5-2 aggregate win.

BATE Borisov, held 1-1 at home by Austrian champions Sturm Graz, looked more comfortable playing away as Aleksandr Volodko put them ahead nine minutes before halftime Serbian Marko Simic, one of only two foreign players starting for the Belarus champions, made the tie safe with the second in the 70th minute as his side qualified for the second time.


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