BELGRADE – Former European Cup winners had mixed fortunes in Champions League qualifying as Ajax Amsterdam and Red Star Belgrade squeezed into the playoff round while Celtic and Porto were eliminated after a dramatic evening on Tuesday.
Ajax, semi-finalists last season, came from behind to beat PAOK 3-2 for a 5-4 aggregate win over the Greeks while Red Star knocked out FC Copenhagen on penalties after a bizarre shootout involving 22 spot-kicks.
Krasnodar sprung a major upset with a 3-2 win at Porto to advance on away goals after losing the home leg 1-0 and Romania's Cluj won 4-3 at Celtic to eliminate the Scottish champions 5-4 on aggregate.
Ajax youth academy reject Diego Biseswar fired PAOK ahead with a thumping shot at the Johan Cruyff Arena before Dusan Tadic, having had a penalty saved, equalised with another one before halftime.
PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis pulled off a string of superb saves but was undone by a Nicolas Tagliafico header and another Tadic penalty before Biseswar set up a tense finish with a stoppage-time effort.