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UEFA Champions League: APOEL, Liverpool lead; Bizarre own goal lifts CSKA Moscow

Eustathios Aloneftis

Apoel Nicosia’s Eustathios Aloneftis celebrates his goal against Slavia Praha during a Champions League play offs first leg soccer match between Apoel Nicosia and Slavia Praha at GSP stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Chara Savides)


The final 10 teams to join this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage will be decided over the next eight days, starting Tuesday with five first legs.

Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool -- RECAP

This one was a lot of fun for neutrals, as Hoffenheim did not appear timid in its first UEFA Champions League match. Serge Gnabry was especially dangerous, and drew a penalty kick that led to nothing thanks to a tepid effort from Andrej Kramaric and a save from Simon Mignolet.

Sadio Mane won a promising free kick that Trent Alexander-Arnold fulfilled, and James Milner had a cross deflected home to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. Hoffenheim struck back late through Mark Uth, and it’ll probably take a two-goal win or better for the German side to advance to the group stage.

BSC Young Boys 0-1 CSKA Moscow

Spare a thought for Ghanaian center back Kasim Adams Nuhu, who is going to get a lot of flack for a late own goal that was, at worst, a two-way street. Young Boys looked set to head back to Russia knowing a win or scoring draw would get them to the UCL group stage, but Adams headed over his backstop and CSKA Moscow scooped up an own goal.

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Qarabag 1-0 FC Copenhagen

Azerbaijan striker Mahir Madatov cleaned up a rebound and gave his side an edge as it heads to the road next week.

APOEL 2-0 Slavia Prague

Igor de Camargo and Efstathios Aloneftis (pictured at top) scored within the first 10 minutes to give the Cypriot hosts a strong result before a trip to Prague.

Sporting CP 0-0 Steaua Bucharest

There could be an upset brewing after the Romanian visitors held strong in Lisbon.

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