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Soccer Champions League

UEFA Champions League: Profiling First 5 Teams Advancing To Group Stage

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UEFA Champions League: Profiling First 5 Teams Advancing To Group Stage

UEFA Champions League Draw and Gala Dinner
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With the UEFA Champions League qualification reaching its second leg of the final round, half of the ten spots have been awarded today. Each of the five clubs that earned qualification so far have taken a different route to this point in the competition. Here is a list of profiles for the five teams that earned qualification today.

5. FC BATE Borisov

SK Slovan Bratislava v FC BATE Borisov - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg
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5. FC BATE Borisov

SK Slovan Bratislava v FC BATE Borisov - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg
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BATE Borisov beat Slovan Bratislava 3-0 in their second leg encounter earning their group stage ticket. The Belarusian champion is the only side from Belarus to ever compete in the UEFA Champions League. This will be Borisov’s fourth time in the group stages, but advancement for the Belarus club seems far-fetched and they should be happy participants.

4. NK Maribor

Celtic v Maribor - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: Second Leg
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4. NK Maribor

Celtic v Maribor - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: Second Leg
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Maribor was in the closest tie of the day with a 1-0 victory over Celtic FC. The Slovenian club visited Glasgow after a 1-1 result at home with an away goal disadvantage. Maribor had the longest route to the group stages, as they began their journey from the second round of qualification. Qualification beyond the group stages might prove too difficult for the Slovenian side, but a result in Celtic Park showed the grit they possess.

3. APOEL Nicosia

AaB Aalborg vs Apoel FC - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg
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3. APOEL Nicosia

AaB Aalborg vs Apoel FC - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: First Leg
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Apoel joined the race to the group stage of the Champions League from the third qualifying round. Apoel Nicosia are coming into the Champions League group stages as the Cypriot League winners. The Cypress team dismantled AaB over the two legs with a 5-1 aggregate. However, Apoel will find it extremely difficult to advance any further than the group stages.

2. FC Porto

FC Porto v LOSC Lille - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: Second Leg
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2. FC Porto

FC Porto v LOSC Lille - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: Second Leg
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FC Porto earned a direct spot to the final round of Champions League qualification off of their third place finish in the Portuguese Premier League. The second leg of Porto’s qualification started out tense with only a 1-0 victory in the first leg, but a 2-0 victory at home with goals from Martinez and Brahimi sealed Porto’s advance to the group stage of Champions League. The Dragaoes are a club capable of getting to the round of 16.

1. Zenit St. Petersburg

FC Zenit v FK Austria Wien - UEFA Champions League
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1. Zenit St. Petersburg

FC Zenit v FK Austria Wien - UEFA Champions League
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Zenit earned their UEFA Champions League group stage ticket against Standard Liege with a 4-0 aggregate. The Russian club finished second in their domestic league last year, which garnered the St. Petersburg team a spot in the third qualifying round. With the likes of Hulk, Salomon Rondon and Domenico Criscito, Zenit may be able to advance out of the group stage depending on a favorable draw.