Ajax and Auxerre reach Champions League group stages


Ajax, Auxerre, FC Copenhagen and MSK Zilina will all feature in the draw for the Champions League group stages after successfully negotiating their way through their play-off encounters.

Goals from Luis Suarez and Mounir El Hamdaoui gave Martin Jol’s men a 2-1 in their home game with Dinamo Kiev, which sent them through after drawing 1-1 in the first leg in Russia.

Andriy Shevchenko made for a tense finale when grabbed Kiev’s consolation from the penalty spot with six minutes remaining, but they could not get the equaliser that would have sent them through on away goals.

Ajax are 100/1 to win the Champions League and they will be joined in pot three of the draw by Copenhagen after they scrapped through on away goals against Rosenborg.

Icelandic defender Solvi Ottesen got the only goal of the second leg to leave the tie 2-2 on aggregate.

Auxerre and Zilina are both in pot four following their wins over Zenit St. Petersburg and Sparta Prague respectively.

The French team were 1-0 down from their first leg in Russia, but triumphed in the second leg 2-0 as their opponents were reduced to nine men.

Cedric Hengbart and Ireneusz Jelen sent Auxerre to the group stages for the first time since 2002, with Zenit goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev dismissed for handling the ball out of his box and Tomas Hubocan for two bookings.

Auxerre are 125/1 to win the Champions League, while Zilina are the rank outsiders at 500/1 despite their comfortable progress past Prague.

Momodou Ceesay got the only goal of the second leg to seal a 3-0 aggregate success.

Barcelona are the 3/1 favourites to win the Champions League for the fourth time. See the entire Champions League winners market.