The 2020/21 Champions League Qualifying Rounds and 2020/21 Europa League Preliminary Rounds are scheduled to take place over the next two weeks.
Airtricity League Champions Dundalk suffered a disappointing three nil defeat by NK Celje of Slovenia on Wednesday evening in the neutral venue of the Ferenc Szusza Stadium in Ujpest near Budapest in Hungary. The ‘Lilywhites’ have not been in good form since the resumption of football last month and despite some improvement they flattered to deceive once again. The first half was relatively even until they conceded a poor goal just before the break. They did have second half opportunities to equalise but failed in front of goal and the concession of another poor goal two minutes from time settled the affair with Celje scoring a third in added time to add salt to the wound.
First into Champions League Qualifying Round action on Tuesday evening at 6pm were Northern Ireland League Champions Linfield who travelled to face Legia Warsaw in Poland where they went down to a one nil defeat. The Belfast club had gained a Preliminary Round walkover when their scheduled opponents KF Drita of Kosova were unable to travel because of the Corona 19 situation. Also in Tuesday night action were Scottish Champions Glasgow Celtic who crushed Icelandic Champions KR Reykjavik by six goals to nil in Celtic Park.
Northern Ireland representatives Coleraine and Glentoran were both in Europa League Preliminary Round action on Thursday evening with home ties against La Fiorita (San Marino) and HB Torshavn (Faroe Islands)respectively. Both Irish sides secured one nil victories to progress to next week’s qualifying round.
The First Qualifying Round is set for next week with Derry City travelling to face Riteriai of Lithuania at 5pm on Tuesday the 25th August while two days later on the 27th August, Bohemian travel to face Fehervar of Hungary at 5.30pm while Shamrock Rovers welcome Llves Tampere of Finland to Tallaght Stadium at 8pm.
Both Coleraine and Glentoran will also be in First Qualifying Round action being away to NK Maribor (Slovenia) and Motherwell (Scotland) respectively. Scottish side Aberdeen, who include Jonny Hayes and Tommie Hoban among their number, are also set for action against NSI Runavik (Faroe Islands).