PAOK Salonica and visiting Ajax Amsterdam settled for a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night in  in the first leg of the third qualifying round of this year’s Champions League.

Hakim Ziyech opened the scoring for Ajax before PAOK responded with two goals by Chuba Apkom and Leo Matos.

The Dutch side,  last year’s semifinalist, leveled with Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

The result gave Ajax a slight advantage going into the second leg of the tie.

Apoel suffered a big Champions League blow after a 2-1 defeat by Qarabag in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie at the GSP stadium in Nicosia on Tuesday night.

After a goalless first half, the Azeri visitors opened the scoring after 54 minutes through Mahir Emreli, with Magaye Gueye adding a second 15 minutes later.

With the match well into injury time, and with things looking bleak, Giorgos Merkis scored what could end up being a vital goal for the Cyprus champions with a 95th-minute strike to give Apoel hope.

The Nicosia giants now have it all to do if they are to overturn the tie in next week’s second leg in Azerbaijan.

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