Nicosia: Champions League semifinalist Ajax faces a fight to qualify for this season's group stage after drawing at Cypriot team APOEL Nicosia 0-0 in the first leg of their playoff on Tuesday.
Ajax started strongly but APOEL came close to winning the game in the last half hour, with Andrija Pavlovic heading against the bar and Ajax goalkeeper André Onana forced to make excellent saves.
Ajax played the last 10 minutes with 10 men after right back Noussair Mazraoui was sent off in the 80th minute for a second yellow card.
Also, Czech club Slavia Prague is on target to reach the group stage for the first time in 12 years after beating CFR Cluj 1-0 away in their first leg.
Belgium's Brugge won 1-0 at LASK Linz.