Small Countries Still Allowed...For Now. 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Qualifying

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
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Dec 15, 2002
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Qualifying starts tomorrow.

There are two one-legged preliminary rounds in which the champions of the four lowest-ranked countries play for one place in the first qualifying round. All three games will take place in Pristina, Kosovo.

Feronikeli (KOS) vs. Lincoln Red Imps (GIB)
Tre Penne (SMR) vs. FC Santa Coloma (AND)

The three teams that fail to qualify do get a second shot in the Europa League qualifying stages. Last year, clubs from the same four countries competed in Gibraltar and the Kosovar club moved on.


Tidy little stadium:

 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
that's a pretty respectable-looking stadium.

way less shabby than one similarly-sized venue in the self-proclaimed greatest city in the world, whose same-site predecessor saw Pelé perform but which now can't amount to anything much, and won't be bothered to get upgraded to something that a lower-division soccer club might use for home games. It's easy to take a place like that for granted. I bet it's a much better spectator experience - that you feel way more a part of the action - being there than in the upper deck of yankee stadium at an NYCFC game.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Jan 10, 2004
20,435
The 718
Yeah, other than the ends that are far away from the pitch due to the track, that looks like a great place to see a game.

I love this round. Love it. Might get a Red Imps kit.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
20,435
The 718
I dream of a vacation going around Europe, going to out-of-the-way venues like this, seeing games, hanging out with the locals, and drinking lots of beer.

In 2017, Everton drew Ružomberok FC in Slovakia (town pop. 27,000; stadium capacity, 4,876) for a home-and-home tie in the first round of Europa. I mean, look at this:



It's like, how much more fun could this be? And the answer is none, none more fun.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
14,645
My college was ass at sports; but our athletic complex was about half-way up a Taconic mountain in the Berkshires and fall sports just had a gorgeous setting.

24956
 

candylandriots

unkempt
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Mar 30, 2004
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Berlin
I dream of a vacation going around Europe, going to out-of-the-way venues like this, seeing games, hanging out with the locals, and drinking lots of beer.

In 2017, Everton drew Ružomberok FC in Slovakia (town pop. 27,000; stadium capacity, 4,876) for a home-and-home tie in the first round of Europa. I mean, look at this:



It's like, how much more fun could this be? And the answer is none, none more fun.
I keep thinking of doing this idea this time of year, resolve to plan ahead so I can do it next year, and then promptly forget and the cycle begins anew.

Though I have to wonder how difficult it would be to get tickets for, say, a Red Imps Champions League qualifier.

I have a few days I’ll be traveling in early July that I haven’t figured out what to do with yet though. Where can I check out the schedule for these matches and see if I can catch one?
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
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Dec 15, 2002
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Look up the first qualifying round draw. First leg games are July 9-10.

They tend to be in out of the way countries, as you might imagine.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Dec 9, 2003
6,283
Auburn, MA
Dynamo Kiev fired their coach after being eliminated.
For a club of their size, they kind of have to. IIRC, the Russian window is open to the end of the month. I’d expect they will have to move players and have to retool the roster anyways.

I’d expect Porto to move a few of their higher wage players before the end of the month. Sergio Conceicao is a well respected figure at the club. I’d be stunned if he didn’t get a lot more rope. Plus, he a good coach.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
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Jun 3, 2005
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California. Duh.
Porto getting knocked out also puts Benfica into pot 2 of the draw, as if their fans needed another reason to enjoy that.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Dec 9, 2003
6,283
Auburn, MA
Porto getting knocked out also puts Benfica into pot 2 of the draw, as if their fans needed another reason to enjoy that.
I’m currently having my first remarkable Italian sandwich at Tutto Italiano in Wellesley. Reading this nearly caused me to pass out from euphoria.