Olympiakos thrashes Krasnodar in Champions League qualifier

Olympiakos' players celebrate second against Krasnodar at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium

Olympiakos took a big step towards returning to the Champions League group stage, with a convincing 4-0 win in the first leg of their playoff-round game on Wednesday, against Russian side Krasnodar.

Olympiakos played the first of its 18 Champions League campaigns more than a decade before Krasnodar was founded in 2008.

The Greek runners-up took the lead in the 30th through Spanish forward Miguel Ángel Guerrero. A flurry of goals from the 78th minute by Lazar Randelovic, twice, and Daniel Podence gave Krasnodar a daunting task in the second leg next Tuesday.

Dinamo Zagreb also took big steps in qualifying for the Champions League group stage when they faced Rosenborg in first leg of their playoff-round.

Dinamo Zagreb struck twice in the first half to secure a 2-0 win over Rosenborg.

Dinamo Zagreb players celebrating win against Rosenborg

Once a Champions League regular, Rosenborg trailed to an early penalty by Dinamo’s Bruno Petkovic, and Mislav Orsic doubled the lead in the 28th.

In the other game, Young Boys were the only home team not to win — needing a 76th-minute penalty awarded by video review — to secure a 2-2 draw with Red Star Belgrade.

Red Star Belgrade player battling in midfield with a Young Boys player

Red Star, playing its seventh qualifying game in seven weeks, is trying to advance from the first qualifying round to the group stage in back-to-back seasons.

Red Star, the 1991 European champions, trailed to a seventh-minute goal by Young Boys forward Roger Assalé that was leveled in the 18th by Australia defender Milos Degenek’s looping header.

Mateo Garcia put the Serbian champions ahead a minute into the second half, before Hourau came off the bench to level from the spot.

Guillaume Hourau after he came off the bench to level from the spot

The 35-year-old former France international went close to winning the game for the Swiss champion with a glancing header in the 89th.


Chidi Nwoke.