Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dundalk get favourable Champions League draw should they see off Qarabag while Shamrock Rovers could face Austria Wien

Gary Rogers, centre, of Dundalk celebrates with team-mates following the Champions League first qualifying round second leg at Skonto Stadium in Riga, Latvia. Photo: Roman Koksarov/Sportsfile
Gary Rogers, centre, of Dundalk celebrates with team-mates following the Champions League first qualifying round second leg at Skonto Stadium in Riga, Latvia. Photo: Roman Koksarov/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk will face Cypriot champions APOEL Nicosia or Montenegrin side Sutjeska in the next round of the Champions League if they succeed in shocking Qarabag in their second round tie.

The next set of draws for the champions route in the competition took place this morning. Last season's losing finalists Ajax were the highest ranked opponent on the opposite side of the draw, whereas the winners of the APOEL tie will be the lowest ranked seeded team.

Vinny Perth's team have a serious job on their hands to get to that round with Qarabag up next. Wednesday's first leg in Oriel Park is already sold out.

The consolation prize if they lose is a drop into the Europa League third round qualifiers and Dundalk have learned they will take on either Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) or Feronikeli (Kosovo) if that scenario comes to pass.

Those two teams were knocked out of the Champions League last week - in the same round where Dundalk made their way past Latvian champions Riga in a dramatic penalty shootout.

Meanwhile, should Shamrock Rovers see off Apollon Limassol, they will face Austria Wien in the third qualifying round.

Celtic will face either Romanian side Cluj or Maccabi Tel-Aviv of Israel should they progress to the Champions League third qualifying round.

The Scottish side still have a second qualifying-round tie against Estonian champions Nomme Kalju to navigate as they look to keep alive hopes of making the lucrative group stages.

Neil Lennon's men saw off Sarajevo in their opening European tie of the new campaign. Should Celtic progress again, the third-round matches will be played on August 6/7 and 13.

The New Saints of Wales are taking on Copenhagen in the second qualifying round, and the Oswestry side will then meet either HJK Helsinki or Red Star Belgrade.

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