By James Agberebi:
Hapoel Be’er Sheva, with Nigerian duo John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme in action, have crashed out of the 2017/2018 UEFA Champions League after losing 1-0 away to Slovenia’s Maribor in the second leg of their play-off tie to go out on the away goals rule on Tuesday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Hapoel Be’er Sheva won the first leg 2-1 in Israel last week with Nwakaeme scoring a superb goal.
Maribor’s goal was scored by Mitja Viler in the 15th minute which was enough to send Maribor into the Champions League group stage.
Both Ogu and Nwakaeme, who are in the Super Eagles squad released on Tuesday to face Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo, featured for 90 minutes in the encounter.
The result means Hapoel Be’er Sheva drop into the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
In Croatia, Olympiacos, without former Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike, defeated Rijeka 1-0 away from home to advance 3-1 on aggregate.
Former Chelsea player Marko Marin scored Olympiacos’ goal in the 25th minute.
Serie A club Napoli defeated OGC Nice 2-0 in France to confirm their place in the group phase.
Goals from Jose Maria Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne in the 48th and 89th minutes secured a 4-0 aggregate score for Napoli.
In action for OGC Nice was former Inter Milan, Man City and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
And in another play-off game on Tuesday, Sevilla were held to a 2-2 home draw by Emmanuel Adebayor’s Istanbul Basaksehir but went through 4-3 on aggregate over the Turkish club.
Eljero Elia gave Basaksehir the lead on 17 minutes but Sergio Escudero made it 1-1 on 52 minutes.
Wissam Ben Yedder put Sevilla 2-1 ahead before Edin Visca equalised for Basaksehir with seven minutes left which was not enough to seal qualification into the group stage.
UCL 2nd leg play-off results:
Maribor 1 vs 0 Hapoel Beer Sheva
Rijeka 0 vs 1 Olympiacos
Nice 0 vs 2 Napoli
Sevilla 2 vs 2 Istanbul Basaksehir
FC Astana 4-3 Celtic