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
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.