Monday 11 December 2017

Dundalk facing daunting trip to Belarus to take on BATE Borisov in Champions League

Dundalk's Richie Towell will be hoping to impress in Europe
Dundalk's Richie Towell will be hoping to impress in Europe

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions Dundalk have been handed a daunting task in Europe after they were drawn with BATE Borisov of Belarus in the Second Qualifying Round of the Champions League.

Stephen Kenny's side avoided a meeting with Scottish champions Celtic but face BATE, who have won the Belarussian League for the past nine years in a row and have advanced to the group stages in five of the last seven years.

It is the first time since 1991 that the Louth club will compete in Europe premier club competition.

BATE Borisov reached the group stages last year, where they recorded one win in Group H beating Athletic Bilbao.

Scottish champions Celtic will face Icelandic champions Stjarnan.

Elsewhere in the first qualifying round, The New Saints of Wales, one of the seeded teams, will play B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands while Northern Ireland side Crusaders were drawn against Estonian side Levadia Talinn.

The ties are due to take place on 14/15 July and 21/22 July.

Later today, FAI Cup winners St Patrick's Athletic, Cork City, Shamrock Rovers and UCD will learn their opponents in the first round of the Europa League first qualifying round.

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