Omonoia knock out Red Star to reach Champions League playoff round

(Reuters) - Cypriots Omonoia Nicosia reached the Champions League playoff round for the first time with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade after the match ended 1-1 following regular and extra time on Wednesday.

Their reward will be a two-legged tie with Olympiakos Piraeus after Brazilian goalkeeper Fabiano saved two penalties in the shootout to stun Serbian champions Red Star.

Defender Michael Luftner gave Omonoia a 31st-minute lead after visiting keeper Milan Borjan spilled a Jordi Gomez corner on to the post and the rebound bounced off the centre back’s shoulder into the net.

Midfielder Mirko Ivanic levelled on the stroke of halftime with a thumping header from seven metres after an inch-perfect cross from El Fardou Ben Nabouhane.

Fabiano twice denied Aleksandar Katai in the second half while Borjan kept out an Eric Bautheac volley at the other end before the tempo dropped in searing heat.

New signing Diego Falcinelli, loaned to Red Star by Serie A side Bologna, and Milos Degenek were guilty of poor spot-kicks which were saved by Fabiano before Jan Lecjaks sent the home side through.

In the day’s other matches, Dinamo Zagreb are away at Ferencvaros, Maccabi Tel Aviv at home to Dinamo Brest, Molde visit Qarabag and Midtjylland entertain Young Boys in the late kickoff.

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis