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Champions League qualifying wrap: Swedes stun Rangers, Benfica progress

4 August 2011 16:39

Rangers bowed out of the Champions League as a late Jiloan Hamad goal saw the Scottish champions eliminated by Malmo.

After a shock 1-0 defeat in last week’s first leg, Rangers were back on level terms in their third round qualifying tie through Nikica Jelavic’s first-half strike in Sweden.

But Malmo would have the last say as Hamad’s intervention in the 80th minute sealed a 1-1 draw for the hosts and condemned Ally McCoist’s men to a Europa League play-off spot.

It was an ill-tempered match, with Rangers losing Steve Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra to straight red cards and Malmo having Ricardinho sent off for earning a second yellow card in the 73rd minute.

Rosenborg’s hopes were also extinguished, with Viktoria Plezen sealing a 4-2 aggregate result over the Norwegian giants following a 3-2 win on Wednesday.

While one Czech side progressed, another was eliminated as Slovan Bratislava exited at the hands of APOEL Nicosia.

Bratislava were poised to progress to the play-off stages following last week’s scoreless draw at APOEL, but goals from Brazilian duo Ailton and Gustavo sent the Cyprian champions through.

Benfica moved into the final qualifying round after a 1-1 draw in Turkey against Trabzonspor gave them a 3-1 aggregate win. Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb progressed by the same aggregate score after a 1-0 home win over HJK Helsinki.

FC Twente moved on despite a scoreless stalemate with Vaslui in Romania, with the Dutch side advancing courtesy of a 2-0 first-leg triumph.

Russian outfit Rubin Kazan wrapped up their tie with Dynamo Kiev after a 2-1 home win at the Tsentralnyi Stadium capped a 4-1 aggregate result.

Genk also advanced, as a 1-1 draw with Partizan Belgrade in Serbia sealed a 3-2 aggregate result for the Belgian champions.

Elsewhere, FC Zurich continued their push for the group stages after knocking out Belgian side Standard Liege, while Austrian powerhouse Sturm Graz ended the run of Georgian outfit FC Zestafoni.

Polish champions Wisla Krakow kept their dream of a first-ever group-stage berth alive at the expense of Bulgarian counterparts Litex Lovech, while Israeli side Maccabi Haifa ousted Slovenia’s Maribor.

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