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Ajax dumped out of UEFA Cup

October 05, 2007 08:14 IST

Former European champions Ajax Amsterdam made a shock exit from the UEFA Cup on Thursday after a 3-2 home defeat by Dinamo Zagreb gave the Croatians victory on the away goals rule.

The upset dominated a night on which fellow favourites Bayern Munich reached the group stage with a 2-0 win at Belenenses, Spain's Atletico Madrid and Villarreal enjoyed crushing wins and Premier League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Bolton Wanderers all went through.

Ajax's elimination was all the more of a surprise as they had been leading 1-0 after the away leg two weeks ago.

They fell behind on the night to a Luka Modric penalty in the first half which eventually sent the tie into extra time. Mario Mandzukic struck twice to give Dinamo a decisive 3-0 lead before Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored twice for Ajax.

Defeat for Ajax manager Henk ten Cate came on the day he was linked by British newspapers with a move to the coaching staff of Chelsea.

Bayern Munich again had Luca Toni to thank for their victory over Belenenses. The Italian striker, who had scored the only goal of the first leg, also opened the scoring in Portugal before Hamit Altintop added the second.


Atletico Madrid completed a 9-0 drubbing of Turkey's Erciyesspor, knocking in another five on Thursday, while Villarreal rounded off a 6-1 win over BATE of Belarus.

Second-half goals by James McFadden and Victor Anichebe earned Everton a 3-2 comeback win at Metalist Kharkiv and a 4-3 win on aggregate, while Bolton Wanderers beat Rabotnicki 1-0 with a Nicolas Anelka winner after finishing 1-1 in Macedonia.

Blackburn Rovers went out 3-2 on aggregate to Larissa of Greece despite winning 2-1 on the night, and Tottenham Hotspur settled for a 1-1 draw at Anorthosis Famagusta after their 6-1 demolition of the Cypriot team at White Hart Lane.

More entertaining was Helsingborg's recovery from a 5-3 away defeat by Dutch side Heerenveen two weeks ago with a 5-1 home win that put the Swedes through 8-6 on aggregate.

Galatasaray turned around a 3-2 defeat with a 5-1 rout of FC Sion, whose Swiss rivals Basel suffered no such fate in crushing Sarajevo 6-0 for an 8-1 aggregate win -- the same margin as Spartak Moscow's victory over Sweden's Hacken over two legs.

Former European champions Red Star Belgrade are also through with a 2-0 aggregate win over Polish side Groclin.

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