By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijani football club Qarabag has pleased its fans by qualifying to the second round of the UEFA Champions League on July 18.
In the return match at the Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium in Baku, Qarabag tied with Slovenian Olimpija FC. The first match held between the teams on July 11 ended with the victory of the Azerbaijani club 1-0.
The rival of Qarabag in the second qualifying round will be the Albanian club Kukesi, which defeated the Maltese Valletta FC by the away goals rule.
Qarabag and Kukesi will play their first game in Albania on July 25, and the return match will be held in Baku on August 1.
Kukesi FC, founded in 1930, was playing in the Albanian Second Division until 2011, and then qualified to the First Division. Since 2012, the team has been playing in Superliga, which is the highest tier of Albanian football.
As for the achievements of Kukesi, the team won the Albanian Supercup and Cup in 2016, as well as became the winner of Superliga last year.
Qarabag FC, the six-time champion of Azerbaijan, was formed in 1951 in the Azerbaijani city of Agdam. After the occupation of the city by the Armenian militaries in 1993, the club was compelled to leave its hometown and settled in Baku.
So far, Qarabag has participated in 14 editions of the club competitions governed by UEFA. These include four seasons in the Champions League, nine seasons in the UEFA Cup and Europa League, two seasons in the Cup Winners' Cup and one season in the Intertoto Cup.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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