In the first round of “Ventspils” qualification, Tiraspol “Dinamo-Auto” (Moldova) – a handy opponent – came in front of him, moreover, the lottery allowed him to play the match on his field. The people of Kurzeme, who do not show their most convincing performance in the Premier League and whose ranks have been left due to various problems by several important football players, came to the drivers, but were able to win 2: 1. The scorer was Jevgenijs Kozlovs.
The second round draw also gave a home game, but the opponent was not spared – Trondheim’s “Rosenborg”. Last season, the team won the Norwegian bronze, but this season is in fourth place after 17 rounds. However, Rosenborg has been without losses for more than a month, winning three victories and fighting twice in that period. Before the last or bronze season, Rosenborg was crowned champion three times in a row, with a total of 26 Norwegian titles in the unit’s account, which is a record.
Last season, Rosenborg was up to the Champions League qualifiers play-off round. Zagreb’s “Dinamo” was lost 1: 3, but the failure gave an automatic place in the European League group tournament. Hitting a strong group (Linz LASK, Lisbon Sporting and Eindhoven PSV), one point was scored in six games. Rosenborg has played in the European League group tournament for three years in a row. It has also participated in the Champions League group tournament, the last time was in 2008.
It is interesting that Ventspils and Rosenborg have already met – it took place in 2003 within the UEFA Cup. The people of Kurzeme did not have much choice – 1: 4 in their field, followed by 0: 6 in the field. At that time, Rosenborg was quoted very high. “Ventspils” was its first opponent in the UEFA Cup, before the Norwegians dropped out of the Champions League, where the superiority of La Coruna’s “Deportivo” was recognized with 0: 1 in the sum of two games. This team reached the semifinals of the Champions League.
If the Ventspils team was not lucky with the draw, then the Latvian champion in 2018 and 2019 and the current leader of the Premier League “Riga” could not have wished for an even better option – San Marino champion “Tre Fiori” was won in return, moreover, the game will take place at Skonto Stadium very convincing. Last season, “Tre Fiori” regained the San Marino champion after a nine-year break, the team has eight titles in total.
Of course, the clubs in San Marino on the European stage are not a great success. For example, a year ago, Tre Fiori stopped in the first round of the European League qualifiers, losing 1: 9 to the Faroe Islands in the sum of two games. In turn, this season in the first round of the Champions League qualification, Belfield “Linfield” lost 0: 2, entering the European League. “Riga” also took an identical path, losing 0: 2 to a much stronger opponent – Tel Aviv’s “Maccabi”.
The champions of “Riga” will not understand or forgive the loss of their field against San Marino. Even despite the departure of head coach Oleg Kononov, Mikhail Konev returned to the wheel. Especially because it is known that if the barrier of “Tre Fiori” is overcome, the next and famous Scottish club “Celtic” from Glasgow will go to Riga in the next round. This game will take place on September 24, but the Rigans have yet to play the match.