Tricky trips for Devils and Reds


STUNNING RESULT: Anorthosis Famagusta players celebrate after qualifying for the third round of the Champions League on Wednesday. TheCypriot side lost 1-0 to Trabzonspor but qualified for the third round with a 3-2 aggregate win. – AFPpic

PARIS: English Premier League giants Manchester United and reigning European champions Liverpool face tricky assignments against eastern Europe opponents if they are to make the Champions League group stages. 

Hungarian side Debrecen crushed Hajduk Split 5-0 in Croatia in their second qualifying round, second leg clash on Wednesday for an impressive 8-0 aggregate score to set-up a clash against Sir Alex Ferguson's United. 

“It was a very impressive result,” said Ferguson whose team will host the first leg against the Hungarians next Tuesday. 

“We don’t want to lose a goal at home. 1-0 or 2-0 will do me fine.”  

Meanwhile, CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria reached the third qualifying round, and a match-up with Liverpool, thanks to a 2-0 win over Tirana of Albania for a 4-0 aggregate score. 

IMPRESSIVE HUNGARIANS: Debrecen’s PeterHalmosi (left) and goalkeeper NorbertCsernyanski celebrate after Halmosi scored agoal in their Champions League secondqualifying round second leg match againstHajduk Split at the Poljud Stadium in Split onWednesday. Debrecen won 5-0 for an 8-0aggregate win. – REUTERSpic

Scottish champions Rangers will take on Anorthosis Famagusta after the Cypriot team earned a 3-2 aggregate win against Trabzonspor of Turkey. 

In Sofia, Ivory Coast striker Guillaume Zadi and Yordan Todorove were on target for the Bulgarians but the home side’s joy at setting-up a clash against Liverpool was tempered by a booking for defender Valentin Iliev who will miss next week’s first leg. 

“We finished the job,” said CSKA coach Miodrag Jesic.  

“Now we will think about our league game against Botev Plovdiv on Saturday and then we will prepare for Liverpool but it’s a real blow for us that Valentin Iliev will miss the first leg.” 

Anorthosis Famagusta qualified after a dramatic and politically-charged game in Trabzon on the Black Sea coast. 

Trabzonspor, the runners-up in the Turkish League last season and tipped as the favourites in the historic fixture between the two arch-foe countries, suffered a surprise defeat in the first leg in Cyprus last week. 

The hosts opened the scoring in the 40th minute with a header by skipper Fatih Tekke, but their hopes of overturning last week’s loss were dashed as they wasted multiple opportunities to score. 

Local authorities took tight security measures for the game, putting on duty some 1,000 policemen, among them officers in full riot gear, at the Avni Aker Stadium and across the city, on the northern Black Sea coast. 

The Cypriots are coached by a man with plenty of experience of Scottish football – Temuri Ketsbaia is a former Dundee player. 

Rangers played Anorthosis in the qualifying rounds in 1995 and squeezed out a 1-0 aggregate score to make the group stages. – AFP 

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