Saturday 24 March 2018

Dundalk to face Icelandic champions FH Hafnarfjördur in Champions League qualifiers

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Dundalk are off to Iceland for the first part of their Champions League campaign this summer as they have been paired with Hafnarfjördur in the second qualifying round.

There was a chance of the Lilywhites being drawn against Celtic but instead the Icelandic champions came out of the draw for Stephen Kenny’s men.

Dundalk are back in action  next weekend after the Premier Division resumes following the summer break.

Having struggled against Champions League regulars BATE Borisov last season, Dundalk will be pleased enough with this draw and will have a decent chance of making it into the third qualifying round.

Northern Ireland's Premiership champions Crusaders were drawn out against Danish side Copenhagen, while Wales' representatives, The New Saints, begin their campaign in the first round against Tre Penne of San Marino with a match against Apoel of Cyprus on offer for the winners.

Celtic, with new boss Brendan Rodgers in charge, will be confident of getting past their second round draw, as the Bhoys will play the winners of the first-round tie between Flora Tallinn (Estonia or Lincoln (Gibraltar).

Lincoln reached the second qualifying round last season in Gibraltar's second campaign in European competition, having lost to HB Torshavn of the Faroes on their debut.

They beat Santa Coloma of Andorra 2-1 on aggregate in their opening fixture before going out 3-0 on aggregate to Danish side Midtjylland, who went on to meet Manchester United in the last 32 of the Europa League.

The Red Imps have won 13 national titles in a row and their squad includes Lee Casciaro, who scored Gibraltar's first competitive international goal in a 6-1 defeat to Scotland at Hampden last year.

Flora sit fourth in the Estonian league after 17 games of their season.

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