Benfica expectedly overcame Dynamo Kyiv to reach the Champions League group stage once again.

Nicolas Otamendi, Rafa Silva and former Shakhtar Donetsk winger David Neres were all on the scoresheet in Lisbon as the Portuguese side wrapped up the contest 3-0 on the night and 5-0 on aggregate.

Dynamo Kyiv, still reeling from the war in their native country Ukraine put up a valiant effort but their lack of practice told in the first leg and carried into the second tie of the contest.

Neres, who was the beneficiary of FIFA’s special transfer window and moved to Benfica from Shaktar, set up the first goal for Otamendi who headed home in the 27th minute.

Silva got in on the act after a defensive mistake as he intercepted Oleksandr Syrota’s wayward pass and produced a neat finish in the 20th minute before Neres produced a brilliant strike to seal the contest in the 42nd minute.

Despite the disappointment of not making any progress against Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv will be hoping to have provided a momentary respite to their fans from the horrors of war.

Benfica will contest the Champions League for the 12th time in 13 years.

Maccabi Haifa also reached the group stage of the Champions League after snatching a 2-2 draw at Red Star Belgrade to win 5-4 on aggregate.

Czech outfit Plzen booked a place in the lucrative group stage as well coming from behind to beat visitors Qarabag 2-1 and win the tie by the same score on aggregate.

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