Rivals in our sights

Alexander Yermakovich’s team will host the first match on July 12th, while the second will take place in Finland on July 19th
Champions League and Europa League qualification round draws take place in Switzerland’s Nyon, with Borisov BATE pitted against Finnish Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho (SJK): Alexander Yermakovich’s team will host the first match on July 12th, while the second will take place in Finland on July 19th



This will be the first time that BATE has played Finnish SJK: a robust, mid-ranking Scandinavian football club representing the town of Seinäjoki (with a population of 57,000 people). In past years, the team has collaborated with the academies of Barcelona and Liverpool. SJK began the season badly and, after 14 matches, is ranked 7th, 14 points behind the leader, HJK. BATE’s coach, Alexander Yermakovich, says of the draw, “We don’t yet know anything about our rival, but there’s much information available. We won’t have difficulty in collecting data, as we did with Dundalk.”

The Europa League draw also took place in Nyon, with three Belarusian clubs playing in the tournament. Minsk’s Dynamo and Shakhtyor will enter the first qualification round, with Dinamo facing Jurmala’s Spartaks, led by Belarusian coach Oleg Kubarev. Four Belarusians are playing with the Latvian club: Nikolay Kashevsky, Dmitry Platonov, Sergey Pushnyakov and Sergey Kozeka. Shakhtyor will play Faroese Runavik for the opportunity to enter the second qualification round. The population of Faroe Islands’ Runavik totals just 470 people. The first matches will be played on June 30th, with return games taking place on July 7th. Minsk’s players will host a home match initially, while those from Soligorsk launch with away matches.

In the second elimination round of the Europa League, Zhodino’s Torpedo-BelAZ will play the winner of the La Fiorita (San Marino) -- Debrecen (Hungary) match. Zhodino’s club will play first away. Shakhtyor will play against the winner of the Domzale (Slovenia) -- Lusitanos (Andorra) match. The two Belarusian clubs will have their first matches at home, with second round matches held on July 14th and 21st.

By Igor Svitov
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