Thursday, July 17, 2008

UEFA Champions League Qualifying

Believe it or not, but the UEFA Champions League begun Tuesday, and continued Wednesday. Okay, so its the first round of qualifying, but still -- the long road to Rome is underway. As far as I know, no club has ever progressed from the First Qualifying Round to the Group Stages. So this may all be a moot point, but whatever.

The 28 Champions of associations 25-53 take part in the first round. A nation's association is determined by their UEFA league co-efficient. In this round, Sweden has the highest ranked league, whereas San Marino has the lowest (I was unaware San Marino had a league -- but they do have a funny entry in the Onion's Our Dumb World). Lichtenstein do not qualify for the Champions League, as they don't have a league. Per usual, each qualifying round is two-legged. So, without much ado, below are the results for the First Qualifying Round. And as always, home team listed first:

FC BATE (Belarus) 2-0 Valur (Iceland)
Drogheda United (Ireland) 2-1 Levadia Tallinn (Estonia)

Aktobe (Kazakhstan) 1-0 Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova)

Dinamo Tirana (Albania) 0-2
Modriča (Bosnia/Herzegovina)
F91 Dudelange (Luxembourg) 0-1 Domžale (Slovenia)
Tampere United (Finland) 2-1 Budućnost (Montenegro)

Inter Baku (Azerbaijan) 0-0 Rabotnički (Macedonia)

Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyprus) 1-0 Pyunik Yerevan (Armenia)

Llanelli (Wales) 1-0 Ventspils (Latvia)

Murata (San Marino) 0-5 IFK Göteborg (Sweden)

Santa Coloma (Andorra) 1-4 Kaunas (Lithuania)

Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia) 3-0 NSÍ Runavík (Faeroe Islands)

Valletta (Malta) 0-2 Artmedia Petržalka (Slovakia)

Linfield (Northern Ireland) 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)

The second leg continues next week, July 22nd and 23rd.