By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani football club Qarabag has won over the Scottish club "Aberdin" (1:0) in first match of the playoff round of the UEFA Conference League.
The only goal in the match was scored in the 30th minute by Qarabag player Jaime Romero. The return match will take place in Scotland on August 26.
The UEFA Europa Conference League is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA for eligible European football clubs.
Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions. It is the third tier of European club football, after the Champions League and the Europa League.
Introduced for the 2021–22 season, the league serves as the bottom level of the existing UEFA Europa League competition, which was reduced from 48 to 32 teams in the group stage.
The winners of the competition are awarded a position in the Europa League the following season, unless they qualify for the Champions League.
UEFA had reportedly considered adding a third-tier competition since 2015.
In 2018, UEFA announced that the competition – provisionally known as "Europa League 2" or just "UEL2" – was to be launched as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle.
The official name of the competition, "UEFA Europa Conference League", was announced on in 2019.
Formed in 1987, Qarabag is an Azerbaijani professional football club, based in Baku, that competes in the Azerbaijan Premier League, the top flight of Azerbaijani football. The club originates from Agdam, but has not played in its hometown since 1993 due to the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. The club is now based in Baku.
Qarabag was founding members of the Azerbaijan Premier League in 1992. One season later, it won their first league championship, becoming the first non-Baku-based club to win the Premier League title.
Qarabag is one of the two teams in Azerbaijan, along with Neftchi PFK which has participated in all Premier League championships so far.
After beating the Netherlands club Twente in 2014, Qarabag qualified for the 2014-2015 UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time in its history and became the second Azerbaijani team reaching the European competitions group stage.
In 2017, Qarabag became the first Azerbaijani club to qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League after beating Danish club Copenhagen and drew in the Group C alongside Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma.
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