In our third and final look at the first qualifying round draw for Europa League (Part 1 and Part 2 are at those links), we take a look at the final 15 matches to round out the 94-club first qualifying round.
Leg one will be played on 9 or 11 July at the club listed first, with the second leg coming on 18 July. The match numbers will be used to reference where the winners will end up for the second qualifying round, which will start to skeleton out later this week. The second qualifying round is the first round that will feature losing clubs over from Champions League, and we won’t know any of those participants until 18 July.
Click here to see how the clubs below qualified for the tournament.
Match 33: DAC Dunajská Streda v Cracovia
DAC Dunajská Streda is in Europa League for the second consecutive season – two previous appearances in the UEFA Cup came last century – and won its first match in Europe since 1988-89 last season, helping to advance against Dinamo Tbilisi. It then lost to Dinamo Minsk in the second qualifying round. Cracovia is in Europa League for the second time in its history, with its initial visit coming in 2016-17. They lost in the first qualifying round during that tournament to Shkëndija.
Match 34: Kauno Žalgiris v Apollon Limassol
Kauno Žalgiris was a late addition to Europa League; the original qualifier from Lithuania had its UEFA license stripped. Kauno Žalgiris will be making their European debut in this match. This will be Apollon Limassol’s seventh consecutive season in Europa League, and the club reached the group stage last season, finishing third behind Eintracht Frankfurt and Lazio in Group H.
This will be Ventspils 20th consecutive season playing in Europe, and the fourth straight season in Europa League. They defeated Teuta’s leaguemate Luftëtari in the first qualifying round last season before falling to Bordeaux in the second qualifying round. They haven’t played in the group stage of Europa League since 2009-10. Teuta last qualified for Europa League in 2016-17, but haven’t won a match in European competition since a win over Valletta in the 2002 Intertoto Cup.
Match 36: Stjarnan v FCI Levadia
Stjarnen is playing in Europe for the third straight season – and fifth time in six years – but has a 1-0-9 record in their past ten games in Europe. The win was against Levadia’s compatriot Nõmme Kalju in last season’s first qualifying round. FCI Levadia has qualified for European play every season since 2003-04, but has not won a round the past two seasons, losing to Irish clubs both years.
Match 37: Cliftonville v Haugesund
Cliftonville advanced from the preliminary round, defeating Barry Town United 4-0 on aggregate. After a scoreless draw in leg one, Cliftonville exploded as the host in leg two, scoring two goals per half and winning 4-0. The win was their first win in Europa League since the 2016-17 competition, and they have advanced past their first round for the first time since that season. However, they have never advanced past their second round, so they hope to transfer some of that great play from leg one to this match. Haugesund is back in Europa League after missing out on qualification last season, and has won a round in each of its other two visits to the tournament (2014-15 and 2017-18). Over those two competitions, they have a respectable 4-2-2 record with a +6 goal differential.
Match 38: Riteriai v KÍ Klaksvík
Riteriai, formerly known as Trakai, has qualified for its fifth straight Europa League. In each of the last two seasons, they have won two rounds, and have a 9-4-5 overall record. KÍ Klaksvík dominated Tre Fiori last round, winning 5-1 in leg one and 4-0 in leg two. This will be the second consecutive year where they’ve faced a Lithuanian squad in the first qualifying round, and they are hoping that this matchup ends a little better than last season’s round against Žalgiris, a 3-2 loss on aggregate. A win would result in their first visit to the second qualifying round.
Match 39: Liepāja v Dinamo Minsk
Liepāja now has a four season streak in Europa League, but has only advanced past its first round one time. Dinamo Minsk has qualified for Europa League for seven consecutive seasons, and has advanced through at least two rounds in each of those seasons. It reached the group stage in two consecutive seasons – 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons – finishing fourth both times.
Match 40: St Patrick’s Athletic v IFK Norrköping
St Patrick’s Athletic returns for the first time since 2016-17, a trip that saw them win a round against Jeunesse Esch and lose to Dinamo Minsk. IFK Norrköping is back in Europa League after a one season hiatus. In its last trip to Europe, it defeated Prishtina before falling to Riteriai in the second qualifying round on penalty kicks.
It’s six straight qualifications for Aberdeen, who failed to advance past its first round for the first time in that run last season, falling to Burnley in the second qualifying round (they qualified to a later round last season). RoPS has played in Europa League three times this decade, and are back for the first time since a two round run in 2016-17.
Balzan is making its fifth straight appearance, and the club managed to reach the second qualifying round for the first time ever last season, falling to Slovan Bratislava. Domžale will also be making its fifth straight appearance in Europa League and seventh this decade. It’s gone as far as the playoff round (two years ago) and last season reached the second qualifying round, falling to Ufa.
Match 43: Laçi v Hapoel Be’er Sheva
Laçi is playing in its third straight Europa League, and sixth overall since qualifying for the first time in 2010-11. Last season, it won its first match it picked up its first match win in the tournament, defeating Anorthosis Famagusta en route to the second qualifying round (a loss to Molde). Hapoel Be’er Sheva will be playing in its sixth consecutive European season, with half of those seasons beginning in Champions League. Last season, the club reached the second qualifying round in Champions League (losing to Dinamo Zagreb), then lost to APOEL in the third qualifying round of Europa League.
Match 44: Narva Trans v Budućnost Podgorica
Narva Trans has six previous appearances in Europa League, all of which have been one round visits. In fact, the club has not won a match in Europe since the 2005 Intertoto Cup (now defunct) against Lokeren. Budućnost Podgorica placed claim on being the Montenegrin club with the most qualifications for European competition, though it has yet to advance past two rounds in any of those seasons. This includes last season, which saw it lose in the first qualifying round to Trenčín.
Match 45: Sabail v Universitatea Craiova
Sabail will be making its European debut when it hosts leg one of this matchup on 11 July. Universitatea Craiova will be making its third consecutive appearance in Europa League, though the first that it starts out in the first qualifying round (the past two seasons saw the club start in the third qualifying round). It will also be the Romanian club’s first tilt against a squad from Azerbaijan.
Pyunik is coming off a Europa League season that ended in the third qualifying round for the first time ever, a run that started against a club from North Macedonia (Vardar). Shkupi is making its second consecutive appearance in Europa League, with last season’s one round journey ending in a loss to Rangers.
Match 47: AEK Larnaca v Petrocub Hîncești
After falling in the playoff round the two prior seasons, AEK Larnaca finally pushed through last season, reaching the group stage for the first time since 2011-12. They eventually finished a distant third behind Bayer Leverkusen and Zürich. Petrocub Hîncești has a much less robust European history, as this will be only the second season in Europe for the Moldovan club. It lost in the first qualifying round to Osijek last season.
There you have it. We’ll be back to update these three posts once the preliminary round is complete on 4 July. Before then, we will also be presenting the skeleton of the second qualifying round… which only has 46 matchups.
Until next time…
Last update: 16 July 2019 at 4:30pm EST