20 July 2019 00:28
Dundalk will face a trip to Albania or Azerbaijan in the second qualifying round of the Champions League, should they defeat Riga FC. Following yesterday's first round qualifying draw, the draw for the second round took place today at UEFA's headquarters in Switzerland. Should Dundalk defeat the Latvian champions in the first round, either Partizani of Albania or Qarabağ from Azerbaijan will provide the opposition. Qarabağ have a strong European record in recent seasons, qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League in 2017-8, and for the group stages of the Europa League in every other season since 2014-5. Dundalk or Riga would have home advantage in the first leg on July 23 or 24, before the return leg on July 30/31.
Should Dundalk lose, they would have a tough draw in their Europa League second qualifying round, playing the losers of BATE Borisov (Belarus) and Piast Gliwice (Poland), with the first leg away from home on July 25. Scottish champions Celtic, should they overcome Sarajevo in their Champions League qualifier, will face either Nõmme Kalju (Estonia) or Shkëndija (North Macedonia), with the first leg at home. Neil Lennon is likely to turn to winger Jonny Hayes for advice if his side ends up facing Shkendija in the next round. The Irishman was part of the Aberdeen side which claimed a 1-1 Europa League draw in Tetovo in 2015 as they edged the Macedonians out on away goals. UEFA have handed Lennon's side the added safety net of a bye to the third qualifying round of the Europa League should they fail to get past Sarajevo.
[LIVE: Champions League scores] 16 games take place across Tuesday and Wednesday, with Neil Lennon's Celtic heading to Bosnia and Herzegovina to play FK Sarajevo. Some other notable teams in UCL first qualifying round, first leg action on Tuesday include Red Star Belgrade playing FK Suduva, while Welsh side The New Saints play Kosovan side Feronikeli. Teams still have to get through another three rounds to make the UCL group stage, but Astana, FC Ararat Armenia, FK Shkendija and HJK Helsinki all record first leg victories earlier on Tuesday. Tuesday's UCL first qualifying round, first leg schedule Astana 1-0 CFR Cluj – Result FC Ararat Armenia 2-1 AIK – Result Nomme Kalju 0-1 FK Shkendija – Result Celtic and Rangers have taken a big step towards the second qualifying round of the Champions League with convincing away wins on Tuesday. Celtic won 3-1 win away at Sarajevo with goals from Mikey Johnston, Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair giving the Scottish champions a healthy advantage despite falling behind to Mirko Oremus' 29th-minute opener.
Red Star Belgrade, who beat eventual winners Liverpool in the group stage last season, earned a 0-0 draw in their first leg at Lithuanian side Suduva. Astana, who reached the group stage in 2015-16, got their campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 win over Romanian side Cluj. Yevgeny Postnikov's 68th-minute strike earned the hosts a slender first-leg advantage against a side who beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in the 2012-13 group stage. Petros Avetisyan scored twice as European debutants Ararat Armenia won 2-1 against Swedish side AIK, who had Robert Lundstrom dismissed in the 13th minute. Finnish champions HJK Helsinki won 3-0 against HB of the Faroe Islands while Valletta head back to Malta all square after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Dudelange in Luxembourg. NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Draw Wednesday for Champions League qualifying: Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic) Second Leg The New Saints (Wales) or Winners of the preliminary round Nomme Kalju (Estonia) or Shkendija (North Macedonia) vs. Celtic (Scotland) or Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina) Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) or Sutjeska (Montenegro) Celtic came from behind to convincingly beat Sarajevo 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League first qualifying round clash at the Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium. The Scottish champions were stunned in Bosnia and Herzegovina when Mirko Oremus opened the scoring for the home side in the 29th minute following a corner. French striker Odsonne Edouard started this season with a classy finish in 51st minute before substitute Scott Sinclair, on for James Forrest, added a third with a cheeky finish. It was the first qualifying game of a potential four rounds to make the group stages and the Glasgow club clearly have the upper hand. The return game is at Parkhead next Wednesday, with the victors taking on the winners of the tie between Estonian side Nomme Kalju and Shkendija of North Macedonia. Six minutes into the second half, it looked even better for Celtic when Edouard took a pass from Forrest and calmly moved into the box before lifting the ball over Kovacevic, leaving two defenders trailing. The goal eased the nerves of the 300 or so travelling fans and Sinclair made entry into the next round a formality when he back-heeled home a cross from fellow substitute Lewis Morgan from six yards out.