Ajax dumped out of Champions League by Rapid Vienna, Monaco cruise
Rapid Vienna have advanced to the final qualifying round of the Champions League with a shock 3-2 win over Ajax in Amsterdam, a 5-4 aggregate victory.
Rapid, the lowest-ranked team in the non-champions section of the draw, looked to be on their way out a week ago when they trailed 2-1 at home and had been reduced to 10 men. But they found an equaliser to give them hope for the return leg and produced a fine performance to send Ajax tumbling out.
The Austrian side rushed into a shock two-goal lead before half-time as Robert Beric and Louis Schaub found the back of the net.
But Ajax fought back after the break with Arkadiusz Milik reducing the arrears before Nemanja Gudelj brought the tie level in the 75th minute.
Frank de Boer's men had no sooner finished celebrating before they were fishing the ball out of their own net again when Schaub bagged his second of the game.
That gave Rapid a crucial third away goal, meaning Ajax had to score twice in the final 13 minutes to avoid a premature exit. But they could find no way back into the tie.
The result means Sporting Lisbon will now be seeded into the playoff round draw in place of Ajax, alongside Manchester United, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen. The final seed will be decided after Wednesday's other qualifiers between Shakhtar Donetsk, CSKA Moscow and Lazio.
AS Monaco cruised past Young Boys to book their place, winning 4-0 on the night and 7-1 on aggregate.
After a goalless first half the Ligue 1 side brushed aside their visitors from Switzerland, as Ivan Cavaleiro, Layvin Kurzawa, Anthony Martial and Stephan El Shaarawy all found the back of the net.
UPDATED: Man United's poss UCL PO: CSKA/Sparta Prague, Lazio, Brugge/Panathinaikos, Monaco, Fenerbahce, Rapid Vienna #mufc- Dale Johnson (@dalejohnsonESPN) August 4, 2015
Molde and Dinamo Zagreb played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in Norway, but with the tie finishing 4-4 on aggregate it was the Croatian visitors who advanced on the away goals rule.
After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Molde would have fancied their chances of progressing on home soil but were left with a mountain to climb when Dinamo struck three times in five minutes before the first half was 22 minutes old.
Marko Pajac scored the opener in the 17th minute before Arijan Ademi and Marko Rog put clear daylight between the sides.
Etzaz Hussain pulled a goal back just before the break to give Molde hope of an unlikely comeback, and when Mohammed Elyounoussi scored from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute they could start to believe.
Even the dismissal of Vegard Forren in the 72nd minute didn't dampen the home side's spirits as Ola Kamara levelled on aggregate three minutes later. But Molde could not find the fourth goal they needed to complete a remarkable turnaround and Dinamo go through to the final qualifying round.
Away goals were needed in Cyprus too, as APOEL Nicosia went through despite losing 1-0 at home to FC Midtjylland. Erik Sviatchenko put the Danes in front after only three minutes, and then APOEL were reduced to 10 men on the half hour when Vinicius was sent off.
But despite having a man advantage for an hour, Midtjylland were unable to add to their tally meaning the game finished 2-2 on aggregate, with the away goals scored by APOEL last week the deciding factor.