UEFA Champions League Playoff Round: Udinese's Spectacular Crash Out Tops Day's Results

The final places in the 2012-13 Champions League group stages were secured today across Europe. Three of the matches were fairly pedestrian with nothing changing from the first leg as BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb and Malaga advanced while Anderlecht fought back to win their tie over AEL. For second straight year, Udinese failed to qualify for the group stages, this time in heartbreaking fashion.

Hapoel Kirya 1 - 1 BATE Borisov

BATE Borisov advances 3-1

Despite a goal from Laszlo Lencse in the 67th minute, Hapoel Kirya couldn't find the second goal they needed to draw even with BATE Borisov. Alexander Pavlov scored for Borisov in the 90th minute to put the final touches on their aggregate goal victory.

NK Maribor 0 - 1 Dinamo Zagreb

Zagreb advances 3-1

Maribor already had uphill battle ahead of them going in to the Ljudski vrt Stadium, but an away goal could have made things interesting. Instead, Zagreb's Tonel scored in the 12th minute and the Blues never looked back, coasting in to the group stages.

Panathinaikos 0 - 0 Malaga

Malaga advances 2-0

Malaga and Panathinaikos played a fairly entertaining first leg in Spain, but with Los Boquerones holding the commanding 2 goal advantage, Manuel Pellegrini's side chose instead to conserve their energies and defend their way in to the group stages.

Udinese 1 - 1 Braga

Braga advances 2-2 (5-4 on penalties)

It easily the most entertaining match of the day, Udinese got the goal they needed Pablo Armero to take a 2-1 lead in the tie in the 25th minute. The Bianconeri seemed to relax a bit too much after the goal and even had a chance to extend their lead when Armero was in alone on the Braga keeper but inexplicably fell in the box before he could get off a shot. Despite that, Udinese were still still in good shape until Rúben Micael scored for Braga in the 72nd minute, sending the match to extra time. After 120 minutes, the teams remained tied and penalties would decide the day. The difference ended up being the incredibly poor decision by new signing Maicosuel to attempt a paneka on his OK attempt that was easily saved by Beto.

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