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Suarez instrumental in Ajax success
by Paul Kennedy, August 4th, 2010 11:02PM

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TAGS:  netherlands, uefa champions league

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[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Luis Suarez is at it again. The Uruguayan, who scored 35 goals in the Dutch league last season and was instrumental in the Celeste's fourth-place finish at the World Cup, scored to help Ajax earn a thrilling 3-3 tie at Greek club PAOK and move into the playoff round of UEFA Champions League qualifying that begins in two weeks.

Ajax was held to a 1-1 tie in Amsterdam and trailed 1-0 in the second leg when Suarez scored just after the break.

Siem de Jong and Rasmus Lindgren put Ajax ahead 3-1, but PAOK rallied for goals by Dimitris Salpingidis and Vladimir Ivic.

Ajax, European champion in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1995, will learn its opponent on Friday. It has not reached the group stage since 2005-06.

The 20 teams in the Champions League playoffs will be paired in 10 series -- five for 2010 league champions and five others for 2010 non-league champions.

PLAYOFF TEAMS:
Champions Bracket:
Seeded teams
Basel
Anderlecht
Copenhagen
Hapoel Tel Aviv
Sparta Prague
Unseeded teams:
Rosenborg
Red Bull Salzburg
Partizan
Zilina
Sheriff Tiraspol

Non-champions Bracket:
Seeded teams:
Sevilla
Werder Bremen
Zenit St. Petersburg
Tottenham Hotspur
Ajax
Unseeded teams:
Dynamo Kiev
Braga
Sampdoria
Auxerre
Young Boys



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