Bayern, Villarreal Advance in Champions League Soccer, Dinamo Zagreb Back

Four-time champion Bayern Munich and Villarreal won their playoffs to reach the Champions League group stage, while Dinamo Zagreb held off Malmo to return after an 11-year absence.

Mario Gomez got the only goal as Bayern, whose Allianz Arena will host the May 19, 2012 final, won 1-0 at FC Zurich last night to advance 3-0 over the two-match series. Villarreal beat Denmark’s Odense 3-0 at home for a 3-1 total.

Croatian champion Dinamo sealed a place in the Aug. 25 draw with a 4-3 aggregate win over Malmo following its 2-0 loss in Sweden. Dinamo, which last played in the group stage in the 1999-2000 season, played the final 40 minutes with 10 men after Sime Vrsaljko was red-carded. Genk and Apoel Nicosia also advanced last night.

The 10 playoff winners join 22 automatic entrants in the 32-team group stage of Europe’s elite club soccer competition. Clubs received a minimum of 7.2 million euros ($10.3 million) from tournament organizer UEFA for participating last season.

Arsenal, Lyon and Viktoria Plzen take leads into today’s five second-leg playoff matches. Two-time champion Benfica and Sturm Graz host return games after drawing on the road.

The 32 teams will be split into four seeding pots at the group-stage draw in Monaco with one from each drawn into eight groups. Teams from the same country can’t meet each other.

     Pareiko 29 og            Wilk 71
     Ailton 54, 86

     Apoel Nicosia advances 3-2 on aggregate

     FC ZURICH        0-1     BAYERN MUNICH
                              Gomez 7

     Bayern Munich advances 3-0 on aggregate

     GENK             2-1     MACCABI HAIFA
     Vossen 35                Golsa 37
     Buffel 41

     Aggregate: 3-3, Genk advances 4-1 on penalties

     MALMO            2-0     DINAMO ZAGREB
     Figueiredo 69
     Jansson 86

     Dinamo Zagreb advances 4-3 on aggregate

     VILLARREAL       3-0     ODENSE BK
     Rossi 50, 66
     Marchena 82

     Villarreal advances 3-1 on aggregate

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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