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.

     TUESDAY’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAYOFFS RESULTS
     ===========================================
     APOEL NICOSIA    3-1     WISLA KRAKOW
     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 dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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