By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijani Qarabag football club’s rival has been identified during the play-off round draw of the Europa League held on September 18.
Thus, Qarabag FC, which is the only representative club of Azerbaijan in the UEFA Europa League, will face the winner of the pair Legia Warsaw (Poland) & Drita (Kosovo) in the play-off round of the competition.
Qarabag will play the match of the play-off round of the Europa League at away, either in Poland or Kosovo, on October 1. There will not be the revenge match. The matches of the play-off round of the Europa League will be played based on the single-tie.
If Qarabag wins the match in this round, it will advance to the group stage of the Europa League. Then, the draw of the group stage of the Europa League will take place on October 2.
It should be noted that on September 16, Qarabag lost the match against Molde (Norway) in the penalty series with the score of 5:6 as part of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The defender Badavi Huseinov failed to score a penalty as the sixth penalty shot of Qarabag.
Thus, despite the dominance with its total 17 attempts against only eight attempts of Molde, Qarabag could not score in the match of total 120 minutes.
As a result of the penalty series, Qarabag stopped the competition in the UEFA Champions League and qualified the play-off round of the Europa League.
In the first qualifying round, Aghdam’s club beat Northern Macedonia's Sileks (4: 0), and in the second qualifying round, beat Moldova’s Sheriff with the score of 2:1.
In the meantime, Neftchi, Azerbaijan’s only representative in the Europa League, stopped the competition in the second qualifying round. The match held in Baku on Septemer 17 ended with the victory of Turkish club Galatasaray (3:1). The only goal of Neftchi was scored by Mamadou Mbodj who equalized the match score in the 46th minute of the match.
This was the 66th match of Azerbaijan’s Neftchi in the European competitions. So far, Neftchi has twice faced Galatasaray in a friendly match. In the first match held in Baku in 1960, the Azerbaijani team won 3:1. The match in Turkey in 1990 ended in a draw - 2: 2.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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