Kljestan, Anderlecht among winners in first legs of third qualifying round of UCL

Sacha Kljestan (Reuters)

If there is one team out of the contending 24 who is a safe bet to advance from the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying, it is Belgian champions RSC Anderlecht.

Playing in their home leg of a two-game series, Anderlecht cruised to a 5-0 victory over Lithuanian outfit Ekranas on Wednesday. Tom De Sutter netted the winner two minutes in and Anderlecht added two goals before the end of the first half to put the game out of reach. American midfielder Sacha Kljestan did see time in the lopsided affair, coming off the bench and playing 28 minutes in the second half.

Things did not go so well for fellow American Josh Gatt's club, Molde FK. The Norwegian club surrendered a late goal to drop their home leg, 1-0, to Swiss side FC Basel. Gatt did not play in the match due to injury, but he may be healthy for the road leg of the series on August 8.

Here is a rundown of the results from the dozen of first legs of the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying:

BATE Borisov 1-1 Debrecen

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 4-0 Neftchi

Molde 0-1 FC Basel

Sheriff Tiraspol 0-1 Dinamo Zagreb

AEL 1-0 Partizan Belgrade

RSC Anderlecht 5-0 FK Ekranas

FC Copenhagen 0-0 Club Brugge

NK Maribor 4-1 F91 Dudelange

Celtic 2-1 HJK Helsinki

CFR Cluj-Napoca 1-0 Liberec

Fenerbahce 1-1 FC Vaslul

Slask Wroclaw 0-3 Helsingborg

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What do you think of Anderlect, Kljestan winning so thoroughly? Think Gatt and Molde can turn it around in the return leg? How many of these teams are you Googling right now to see where they're from?

Share your thoughts below.

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5 Responses to Kljestan, Anderlecht among winners in first legs of third qualifying round of UCL

  1. Bryan says:

    It seems like Gatt is always injured…

  2. Jon says:

    Apparently Anderlecht has gone from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 this year and Sacha finds himself as odf MF out. If that’s the case, hopefully he can find a move this month.

    I also learned on Twitter today that there’s a Yank playing for Kiryat Shmona. Had two goals today, too. Name is Bryan Gerzicich.

  3. Girt says:

    Gerzicich is a good player. He plays central midfield and is from Los Angeles. He began playing in the Argentine Primera.

  4. Call Up Lichaj says:

    Any word on when JK will call up players for the Mexico friendly?

  5. Virgil says:

    To answer your last question only one, and now I know that Neftchi is in Azerbaijan.