By Akbar Mammadov
The next rivals of Azerbaijani football clubs Qarabag and Neftchi in the European competitions have been revealed, the UEFA said on August 31.
As a result of the third qualifying round draw of the UEFA Champions League held in Switzerland’s Nyon city on August 31, the fixtures have been revealed. According to the draw results, Qarabag will face Norwegian club Molde at home for the third qualification round of the UEFA Champions League. The matches of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League will be held on September 15-16. Winners advance the UEFA Champions League play-off round.
It should be noted that in the first two rounds, Qarabag eliminated Northern Macedonia's Sileks (4:0) and Moldova's Sheriff (2:1).
Due to COVID-9 pandemic, this season all third qualifying round ties will be single-leg matches behind closed doors.
In the meantime, the rival of Azerbaijan’s other club Neftchi has also been identified for the second qualification round of the Europa League.
As a result of the second qualifying round draw organized, Neftchi has been paired with Turkey’s Galatasaray. The match will be held in Baku on September 17.
It should be noted that Neftchi, facing Northern Macedonian Shkupi, beat its rival with a score of 2:1 in the match held on August 27 in Baku as part of the first qualification round of the Europa League.
The matches of the second qualification round of the Europa League will take place on 17 September, with extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required. This season all qualifying ties in the Europa League will also be single-leg matches behind closed doors. Winners advance to the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
It should be noted that in the first qualification round of the Europa League, Azerbaijan’s other two clubs Sumgayit and Keşla were defeated by their rivals. Sumgayit nicknamed “Youth City” participated in the European Cups for the first time and faced Northern Macedonia's Shkendija in their debut match. Playing its first match in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, Sumgayit couldn't qualify for the next round. Thus, playing with ten men after the red card, Sumgayit was defeated by Shkendija with a score of 0:2.
Another Azerbaijani club Keşla led by Yunis Huseynov was defeated by Albanian club Laç with the score of 5:4 in a game played in Baku.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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