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Spurs is one of six debutants
by Paul Kennedy, August 25th, 2010 8:40PM

TAGS:  england, uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Tottenham will be one of six teams playing in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time after it beat Young Boys of Switzerland, 4-0, and completed a comeback from 3-0 down in the first leg to qualify 6-3 on aggregate.

Slovakian champion Zilina, Portuguese runner-up Braga and Israel's Hapoel Tel Aviv also qualified for the Champions League for the first time in midweek playoff action.

Dutch champion FC Twente and Turkish champion Bursapor, which both qualified automatically, will also be playing in the group stage of the competition for the first time.

The 10 playoff winners join 22 teams who qualified automatically for the group stage. The 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups on Thursday.

Peter Crouch led Tottenham with a hat trick. Spurs has reached the top flight of European soccer for the first time since 1962.

“It’s fantastic, it’s been a long time since Tottenham played in the top European competition,” Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said. “To get in the main competition and the group stages … when I came here that was the dream for me.”

Zilina beat Sparta Prague 1-0 twice in a battle of Slovakian and Czech teams.

Braga got a hat trick from substitute Lima, a Brazilian journeyman forward, and upset Sevilla, 4-3, in Spain to go through 5-3.

Hapoel Tel Aviv's 1-1 draw at home against Red Bull Salzburg was enough to go through 4-3 on aggregate.

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