Hertha Berlin and CSKA Moscow through to group phase
German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin and Russian team CSKA Moscow on Tuesday became the first two clubs to advance to the group phase of this season's UEFA Cup, dpa reported.
Although Hertha were held to a goalless draw by Saint Patrick's Athletic in Dublin in their first round return-leg, they went through 2-0 on aggregate, while CSKA added a 1-0 victory against Croatian club NK Slaven to the 2-1 victory they secured in the first leg.
In Dublin the more-fancied German side struggled against the Irish club and twice had to rely on the post to not go behind against enterprising St Pat's.
The home side were also denied a penalty after Fabian Lustenberger handled the ball in the area, but referee Michail Koukoulakis waved play on.
Hertha captain Arne Friedrich, whose side has been struggling in the Bundesliga and were knocked out of the German Cup last week, said that he was happy with the result.
"It is a small success that we are in the next round. Hopefully that will take away some of our negative thoughts," he said.
In Moscow CSKA did little more than was asked of them after having already won the first leg match in Croatia.
Aleksei Berezutski scored the only goal of the match in the 37th minute to send the 2005 UEFA Cup winners through.