UEFA Champions League 2015-16 1st Qualifying round preview

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A new season begins for European football today with the draw of the 1st and 2nd qualifying round draw in Nyon, Switzerland but in this case i will focus exclusively in the teams that conform 1st qualifying round, we have from an absolute debutant to an experienced team and also a team that returns after some years ago, lets check out which teams im talking about:

SS Folgore (San Marino)

The team from Serravalle are making their absolute debut in UEFA Champions League after winning the San Marinese league for the 1st time in their history beating in the final 3-1 to Juvenes/Dogana and also achieving something historic, making the domestic double by winning the Coppa Titano(San Marino Cup), in the Coppa Titano they won 5-0 vs Murata.

Their previous European participation are from competing in the UEFA Europa League twice and in those matches Folgore lose both legs(vs FC Basel in 2000/01 and vs Buducnost Podgorica last season) they were the 1st participant from San Marino in UEFA competititon(UEFA Cup 2000/01).

Lincoln Red Imps (Gibraltar)

This will be the 2nd time in a row that they are competing in the UEFA Champions League and they wish to get into the 2nd qualifying round, last season they played vs the Faroese champions HB Torshavn drawing 1-1 in Gibraltar but losing in the away match, they did the domestic double last season by winning the Rock Cup beating Lynx FC 4-1.

FC Santa Coloma (Andorra)

They caused a massive shock last season eliminating the Armenian champion and favorite to qualify for the next round FC Banants 3-3 thanks to the away goals rule, they won 1-0 in Andorra and lose 3-2 in Armenia, in the 2nd qualifying round they played vs Maccabi Tel Aviv but the Israeli side were the strongest one and qualified for the next stage, anyway the Andorran champions went beynd their expectations and made a big surprise to everyone and now they wish to repeat the same and who knows even more by reaching the 3rd qualifyind round, getting into that stage would be more historic for them and also for Andorran football.

B36 Torshavn (Faroe Islands)

They return to the competition after 3 years of absence, in their last UEFA Champions League adventure they played vs Linfield FC from Northern Ireland but they couldn´t advance to the next stage, they wish to advance to the next stage like in 2006/07 season when they eliminated Birkirkara from Malta but played against strong opposition like Fenerbahce where B36 was eliminated by the Turkish champions. Only in 06/07 they progressed to the next stage but in 1998/99, 2002/03 and 2012/13 they were eliminated in the 1st qualifying round.

Pyunik (Armenia)

The 14th time Armenian champions are back in the competition after 4 years of absence, in their last appearance they played vs Czeh champions Viktoria Plzen but were eliminated in that stage, they wish to get inti the next stage like in 07/08 season when they eliminated Republic of Ireland champions Derry City FC but they European adventure ended being eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk.

They have always reached until the 2nd qualifying round from the 2002/03 season until 2007/08 in a row but since 2008/09 until 2011/12 in a row they haven´t progressed into the next stage and now in their season of return they wish to go as far as they can. they count with experiend goalkeeper and member of the Armenian national team Roman Berezovskiy, also with David Manoyan as captain, Karlen Mkrtchyan and Levon Hayrapetyan being among the most important players of Pyunik.

Crusaders FC (Northern Ireland)

Another team which return to the competition, they last appearance in the UEFA Champions League was in the 1997/98 season, very long time ago, in that time they played vs Dinamo Tbilisi but Crusaders lose both matches and couldn´t qualify for the next stage, they have been most of the time in UEFA Europa League since then.

The New Saints (Wales)

They have been unlucky in recent years because they got strong opposition but they aim to repeat their best campaign so far in 2010/11 when they reached the 3rd qualifying round, they started in the 2nd qualifying round where they eliminated Bohemians FC from Republic of Irelandbut in the 3rd qualifying round they lose vs the Belgian champions RSC Anderlecht, after that they reached an historic stage they haven´t reached in all their history, they got into the UEFA Europa League playoff round but their dream to qualify for the group stage was cancelled by CSKA Sofia.

Levadia Tallinn (Estonia)

One of the most experienced teams, 2009/10 was their best season so far where they went so far into the 3rd qualifying round, eliminating Polish champions Wisla Krakow in 2nd QF Round but in the next stage they were eliminated vs Hungarian champions Debrecen VSC. Last season in UEFA Champions League they eliminated vs SP La Fiorita in 1st QF Round but they were eliminated by Sparta Praha in the next round. in 2000/01 they progressed of stage but in the 2nd QF Rnd they were eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk, in 2007/08 they eliminated FK Pobeda from Macedonia but in the next stage they were eliminated by Red Star Belgrade on away goals after that they´ve been always eliminated in 1st round every time they played UEFA Champions League qualifying stages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kyrgyzstan vs Australia 1-2

It was an historic match for both teams, for Kyrgyzstan because they was playing against the current Asian champions and for Australia because it was their 1st visit ever to Kyrgyzstan, in 2008 they played against another Central Asian team: Uzbekistan and Australia won it.

In a full packed Spartak stadium in Bishkek Australia quickly found the opening goal just 30 seconds after the match started thanks to a foul by a Kyrgyz player, the Kyrgyzstan started to create goal chances but the Australian defense was well positioned, in the 2nd half Australia scored another goal to seal the victory and in the last minute of the match Kyrgyzstan scored via a corner kick.

It was an interesting and exciting match, Kyrgyzstan found the goal of honour at the end of the match.

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FIFA WCQ(Asia) Russia 2018 Matchday 2 Preview

There were so many exciting and shocking moments on matchday 1 and this matchday 2 won`t be any exception with many interesting matches to watch.

DPR Korea vs Uzbekistan
Both teams met this year at AFC Asian Cup in Australia with Uzbekistan winning 1-0, they played each other in the last WCQ Round 3, Uzbekistan won 1-0 in Pyongyang with goal from Aleksandr Geynrikh whie in Tashkent Uzbekistan won 1-0 with goal from Timur Kapadze.

Bangladesh vs Tajikistan
Both teams first met at 2006 AFC Challenge Cup quarterfinals and the victory was 6-1 for Tajikistan, this will be the 2nd time that both teams will meet and at the same venue that they met the 1st time the Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka, in that match the scorers for Tajikstan were Ibrahim Rabimov, Khurshed Mahmudov, Dzhomikon Mukhiddinov, Yusuf Rabiev, Shujoat Nematov and Numonjon Hakimov. after that Tajikistan went to win the tournament.
The only survivor from that match that has been called for this match is Ibrahim Rabimov.

Kyrgyzstan vs Australia
The Asian champions visit Central Asia for the 2nd time, it will be an historic match for Kyrgyzstan as it will be the 1st time that they face an Asian champion at World Cup qualifiers and they will host the match at their traditional Spartak stadium in Bishkek.
It wll be the 1st match for Australia at this WCQ and for Kyrgyzstan the 2nd because last week they won at away vs Bangladesh.
Anton Zemlyanukhin, Azamat Baimatov, Mirlan Murzaev, Vadim Kharchenko, Edgar Bernhardt are the hope of goal for the Kyrgyz squad, Kyrgyzstan have some interesting players like Ildar Amirov, Valerii Kichin, new recruits like Viktor Maier and Vitalij Lux while in the goalkeeper place they have 2 good experienced elements like Valeri Kashuba and Pavel Matiash.

Turkmenistan vs Iran
Turkmenistan lost dramatically their opening match at this WCQ vs Guam, this time they want to win to stay in course to qualify for the next round.

DFB Pokal 2015-16 previa

Aun sigue fresco el recuerdo de la historica victoria de VfL Wolfsburg 3-1 vs Borussia Dortmund y una nueva edición esta por comenzar con el sorteo de la 1ra ronda este miercoles, hay equipos que regresan a la competición despues de mucho tempo, otros que hacen su debut y otros que ya son habituales participantes, tradicionales equipos que buscan dar la sorpresa y llegar a instancias finales.

Una de las novedades es el campeón de Hamburgo HSV Barmbek Ulhenhorst que regresa a la competición despues de 40 años habiendo ganandole a SC Condor en la final de la Oddset Pokal(Copa de Hamburgo) 2-0.
Otra novedad es Rot Weiss Essen que fue finalista en la temporada 1993/1994 y en esta edición espera repetir aquella gran campaña en la que lamentablemente en la final perdierón por 3-1 vs Werder Bremen.

Por 1ra vez habran 2 equipos de la región de Schleswig Holstein (Holstein Kiel y VfB Lübeck)
Las grandes ausencias son Dynamo Dresden, 1 FC Saarbrücken, 1 FC Magdeburg, Eintracht Trier, Victoria Hamburg, Alemannia Aachen.

Uno de los equipos mas tradicionales en esta competición es BFC Dynamo, campeón de Berlin, 10 veces campeón de la antigua Alemania Oriental (DDR) y que casi siempre es eliminado en 1ra ronda, este año esperan avanzar lo mas lejos posible.

Otro equipo tradicional es FC Carl Zeiss Jena campeón de Turingia(Thüringen) y que este año tambien espera poder repetir la campaña que hizo en 2007/08 cuando llego a semifinales pero que lamentablemente no pudo llegar a la final ya que Borussia Dortmund se lo impidio, en su camino a la final dejo afuera al campeón defensor de aquella temporada 1 FC Nürnberg en 2da ronda, luego elimino en 8vos de final al Arminia Bielefeld, en 4tos de final elimino al favorito VfB Stuttgart en penales para en semifinales enfrentarse con el poderoso Borussia Dortmund, sin duda esa fue una muy digna y meritoria campaña, su mejor campaña en la DFB Pokal en toda su historia.

Lech Poznan Polish champions 2014-15

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Lech Poznan ended with Legia Warszawa by winning the title in the last mathday of the season, Lech got a draw vs Wisla Krakow while Legia won 3-2 vs Gornik Zabrze, with those results Lech ended 1 point more than Legia to claim their 5th title.

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While In the UEFA Europa League spots Jagiellonia and Slask Wroclaw secured European berths, both returns to the competion after years of absense

Jagiellonia won 4-2 vs Lechia Gdansk and Slask won 2-1 vs Pogon Szczecin.

 

 

FC Astana and their amazing campaign to win their 1st Kazakhstan League title

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FC Astana became Kazakhstan champions for the 1st time in their history and with this they`ll play UEFA Champions League for the 1st time starting from the 2nd qualifying round, with this they broke the hegemony that FK Aktobe and Shakhtyor Karagandy had in previous years, in an exciting championship Astana battled with Aktobe and Kairat for the title in the final rond of the championship and Astana won all their matches and benefited from the defeats from their direct competititors to claim the title.

Also they had a good European campaign by reaching the UEFA Europa League playoffs only to be defeated by Villarreal CF from Spain, FC Astana was at the brink of reaching something historic for Kazakh football, that was to be the 2nd Kazakh club to play UEFA Europa League Group Stage after Shakhtyor Karagandy did the same last season, FC Astana defeated Pyunik, Hapoel Tel Aviv and a very favorite like AIK Solna.

They also won the Kazakhstan Supercup this year winning 3-2 vs Kairat Almaty on penalty shoot outs after finishing 0-0 in regular time.

These things that FC Astana have achieved like their first championship, 2 cups, the supercup and also reaching Europa League playoffs are very important for a team who was founded in 2009 as Lokomotiv Astana and in 2011 they were renamed as FC Astana and now they aim to play UEFA Champions League group stage, they have a great team with many talented and good players.

 

Liechtenstein: FC Triesenberg historic cup final

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Knowing that there are no league in Liechtensten, the cup serves as the only road for the champion to get an entry into the UEFA Europa League.

FC Triesenberg reached the Liechtenstein final for the 1st time in their history, dreaming to become the Liechtenstein Cup champions they started they journey on August 27, 2014 when they beat Schaan II 2-0, then they beat the reserve teams from Liechtenstein clubs that compete in the tournament, in 2nd round they beat Eschen/Mauren III 1-0, in quarterfinals they beat Balzers II 2-0, ntil that they had an easy campaign but then came the semifinal and in that stage they played vs FC Vaduz U-23, extratime was needed for Triesenberg to win 1-0

in the final they encounter powerhouse FC Vaduz, the previous meetings between both teams was in the Liechtenstein Cup semifinals in 2011-2012 when FC Vaduz won 3.1, in 2010-2011 FC Vaduz won 8-0, in this years final FC Vaduz reaffirmed their condition of favorites and they won 5-0 and with this they`ll play UEFA Europa League next season but for FC Triesenberg the fact that they reached the final were a great merit because they were always dreaming to reach that stage and they did it but sadly they couldn`t won the cup, they did all their best.