By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Neftchi professional football club from Baku, which is considered one of the best clubs of Azerbaijani football, has started its performance in UEFA Europa League qualifying round with a brilliant victory over Speranta Nisporeni from Moldova.
The match was held within the 1st leg of the first qualifying round on July 11. Speranta was the host of the match, the game was held in the Zimbru stadium located in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova.
From the first minutes of the game, Neftchi showed that they are the favorite of this pair. The first goal was not long in coming. On the 16th minute, Emin Makhmudov scored from the penalty spot. After 20 minutes, Joseph Monrose strengthened the advantage of the Azerbaijani team. When the referee blew for half-time, the teams went to the locker room with the score 0-2 in favor of Neftchi.
Despite the solid advantage in the first time, Neftchi was not going to relax. On the 76th minute, making a phenomenal kick Rahman Hajiyev sent the ball over the head of Speranta’s goalkeeper. This goal has a good chance to be selected as Goal of the Week.
So, Neftchi beat its opponent from Moldova with the score 3-0 and turned the second leg into a formal one. The second game will be held on Bakcell Arena stadium on July 21.
Thus, Neftchi showed why the team from Baku was the favorite of the pair. The flagship of Azerbaijani football has almost solved the question of who will qualify to the 2nd qualifying round of UEFA Europa League.
It is noteworthy that Neftchi is the first Azerbaijani team which qualified in UEFA Europa League Group stage in the 2012/2013 season.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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