07.08.2019 22:58 h

Celtic held in Transylvania

Celtic edged closer to a place in the Champions League play-off round on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw at Cluj in Romania thanks to a James Forrest equaliser.

Veteran Venezuelan striker Mario Rondon put the home side in front after 28 minutes in Transylvania.

But Forrest grabbed a crucial away goal less than 10 minutes later, converting a smart pass from Hatem Abd Elhamed to leave the Scottish champions with the edge ahead of the second leg of the third qualifying round in Glasgow next Tuesday.

"We've got to be delighted with the away goal. I thought we looked good moving forward throughout the game. I was delighted with our attacking intent, and I thought we defended resolutely throughout the game as well," said Celtic coach Neil Lennon.

"Over the last couple of games at Celtic Park, we've been on incredible form. Next week, we'll need the crowd, we'll want to make it hostile and make it warm for them, and then the players need to go out and perform."

Porto, the champions in 1987 and 2004, saw off debutants Krasnador 1-0 in Russia.

Sergio Oliveira scored the only goal from a free-kick in the 89th minute.

Porto are now unbeaten in their last nine qualifying games.

On Tuesday, last season's semi-finalists Ajax recovered to earn a 2-2 draw on their trip to PAOK Thessaloniki.

Dutch champions Ajax came within seconds of reaching the final last term but again must come through a series of qualifiers despite landing a 34th national title in May.

Hakim Ziyech put Ajax ahead on 10 minutes in Greece when his devilish free-kick grazed the head of a defender and flashed beyond PAOK goalkeeper Alexandros Paschalakis.

Former Arsenal youngster Chuba Akpom levelled for PAOK, who went unbeaten last season on their way to winning the Greek title for the first time in more than three decades.

Defender Leo Matos powered home a header to give PAOK the lead before half-time against an Ajax team that is rebuilding after losing Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus and Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona this summer.

Veteran striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar grabbed a fortuitous equaliser on 57 minutes when an attempted clearance smacked into his shin and rolled into the net.

Former champions Red Star Belgrade were held 1-1 at home by FC Copenhagen, Dinamo Zagreb and Ferencvaros are also finely poised at 1-1 while Club Brugge take a 1-0 first leg lead to Dynamo Kiev next week.