PAOK Thessaloniki of Greece, currently coached by Razvan Lucescu, has advanced to the Champions League playoff. On Tuesday the Greek side drew nil-all against Spartak Moscow away from home in the second leg of the third preliminary round. In the first leg the Greek champions had won 3-2 at home. PAOK had an easy job securing a draw against 10-men Spartak after Luiz Adriano was showed a red booking on minute 33. In the playoff, PAOK will take on Benfica Lisbon.
Also in the second leg of the third preliminary round, Belgium’s Standard Liege, with Razvan Marin in the lineup, lost nil-3 to Ajax Amsterdam of the Netherlands and was eliminated. In the first leg the score was 2-all. Standard will nevertheless play in the Europa League playoffs, the same as Slavia Prague, the club of another Romanian, Alexandru Baluta. The Czech team was ousted from Champions League by Dinamo Kiev after losing nil-2 in the second leg. Baluta was sent on the pitch in the second half. The first leg ended 1-all.
Romanian goalkeeper Laurentiu Branescu was loaned from Juventus Turin to HNK Gorica in Croatia. After two seasons on loan to Dinamo Bucharest, Branescu returned to Turin this summer, but Juventus decided to loan him again.
Guizhou Hengfeng of China, coached by Dan Petrescu, on Wednesday lost 1-3 to Shanghai Shenhua in the 18th round of the Chinese Championship, reaching its third consecutive defeat. Also on Wednesday, Cosmin Olaroiu’s Jiangsu Suning drew nil-all at home against Chongqing Lifan. Jiangsu is 5th ranked in the tables with 29 points, while Guizhou Hengfeng is bottom of the table with 8 points.
(Translated by V. Palcu)