UEFA Cup – First Qualifying Round Draw

uefacup2.jpgFootball fans in the Faroe Islands were the big winners of the UEFA Cup First Qualifying Round draw, which was made on July 1st. Brondby’s tie against B36 Torshavn and Manchester City’s fixture against EB/Streymur have created some excitement. B36 Torshavn’s club director Kristjan A Neystabo told uefa.com: “Many people in the Faroe Islands also keep an eye on football in Denmark. I think FC Kobenhavn would be the most popular team and then it would be Brondby.”

In what will be new manager Mark Hughes’s first game in charge, Manchester City will play away to minnows EB/Streymur and while they should progress comfortably, their opponents have a manager who is capable of producing upsets. Sigfridur Clementsen led B36 Torshavn past IBV Vestmannæyjar of Iceland in the first qualifying round of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup and beat Malta’s Birkirkara FC 5-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round the following season. These are no small feats as HB Toshavn is the only other Faroese side to ever successfully negotiate the first hurdle of a UEFA competition.

The 37 teams who win through the first qualifying round will be joined by 27 more sides – including the eleven UEFA Intertoto Cup winners – in the second qualifying round draw, taking place in Nyon on 1 August. Those 32 ties will be played on 14 and 28 August, with the winners following the 32 automatic entrants and the 16 clubs eliminated in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, into the UEFA Cup first round. This will decide the 40 group-stage contenders.

This year’s UEFA Cup should be as exciting as former European champions AC Milan, Benfica and Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) are among the entrants for the 2008/09 competition along with past UEFA Cup winners Valencia, Sevilla and Tottenham Hotspur.

The complete pairings for the first qualifying round are as follows:
First leg: July 17th
Second leg: July 31st

PFC Cherno More Varna (Bulgaria) v UE Sant Julià (Andorra)
FK Pelister (Macedonia) v APOEL FC (Cyprus)
FC Vaduz (Liechtenstein) v NK Zrinjski (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
NK `iroki Brijeg (Bosnia and Herzegovina) v FK Partizani (Albania)
Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona FC (Isreal) v FK Mogren (Montenegro)
FC Koper (Slovenia) v KS Vllaznia (Albania)
NK IB Ljubljana (Slovenia) v FK Zeta (Montenegro)
AC Juvenes-Dogana (San Marino) v Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC (Isreal)
HNK Hajduk Split (Croatia) v Birkirkara FC (Malta)
FK Milano (Macedonia) v AC Omonia (Cyprus)
Marsaxlokk FC (Malta) v NK Slaven Koprivnica (Croatia)
FC Salzburg (Austria) v FC Banants (Armenia)
Gyori ETO FC (Hungary) v FC Zestaponi (Georgia)
FC Ararat Yerevan (Armenia) v AC Bellinzona (Switzerland)
FC Dacia Chisinau (Macedonia) v FK Borac (Serbia)
FC Tobol Kostanay (Kazakhstan) v FK Austria Wien (Austria)
Hertha BSC Berlin (Germany) v FC Nistru Otaci (Macednoia)
FK Khazar Lenkoran (Azerbijan) v KKS Lech Poznan (Poland)
Legia Warszawa (Poland) v FC Gomel (Belarus)
FC Spartak Trvana (Slovakia) v FC WIT Georgia (Georgia)
FC MTZ-RIPO Minsk (Belarus) v MSK Zilina (Slovakia)
FC Shakhtyor Karagandy (Kazakhstan) v Debreceni VSC (Hungary)
FK Olimpik Baku (Azerbijan) v FK Vojvodina (Serbia)
FH Hafnarfjördur (Isreal) v CS Grevenmacher (Luxembourg)
FK Vetra (Lithuania) v Viking FK (Norway)
FC Racing Union Luxembourg (Luxembourg) v Kalmar FF (Sweden)
FC Honka Espoo (Finland) v IA Akranes (Isreal)
Glentoran FC (Northern Ireland) v SK Liepájas Metalurgs (Latvia)
Brøndby IF (Denmark) v B36 Tórshavn (Faroe Islands)
FC Nordsjælland (Denmark) v FC TVMK Tallinn (Estonia)
EB/Streymur (Faroe Islands) v Manchester City FC (England)
JFK Olimps (Latvia) v Saint Patrick’s Athletic FC (Ireland)
Djurgardens IF FF (Sweden) v FC Flora (Estonia)
FK Suduva (Lithuania) v The New Saints FC (Wales)
Cliftonville FC (Northern Ireland) v FC København (Denmark)
Cork City FC (Ireland) v FC Haka (Finland)
FC Midtjylland (Denmark) v Bangor City FC (Wales)

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