July 22, 2006
The UEFA Intertoto Cup concluded today with some surprisingly exciting matches considering they were playing for a spot in the UEFA Cup Second Qualifying Round.
A Sharmal Touma late brace allowed Twente to advance ahead of Kalmar. Dnipro nearly overcame a two goal deficit but ultimate fell on the away goals rule against Marseille. Eight man Villareal fell 3-2 on aggregate to Maribor. Finally in Norway, Shola Ameobi buried Lillestrom with two first half goals.
The Magpies may benefit from that result because it offers potential signing Damien Duff European football while Freddy Shepherd gives him whatever wage he desires.
July 19, 2006
The third round of the newly redone Intertoto Cup began this past weekend with Newcastle being stymied by Lillestrom and Dnipro’s bunker holding up at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday being the biggest stories.
In the meantime, the quest to knock Barcelona off the top of the European club pile began last Tuesday with the First Qualifying Round of the Champions League. Artmedia Bratislava and Liverpool were the only two clubs in this stage to make it through the six matches required to qualify for the lucrative group stage. Four clubs emerged today as Ekranas of Lithuania, Sioni of Georgia, Sheriff of Moldova and Rabotnicki of Macedonia move on to face a much more difficult challenge.
The UEFA Cup also had its First Qualifying Round which saw Swiss Challenge League (2nd Division) and Liechtenstein Cup winner Vaduz destroy Hungarian side Újpest 4-0. In matches coming up this Thursday, FC Basel hold a 3-1 lead as they travel to Tobol and Rapid Bucharest hold a 5-0 lead as they travel to Malta to take on Sliema Wanderers.
In tomorrow’s notable matches, Icelandic champions Hafnarfjördur attempts to hold onto a 3-2 edge against Estonian side TVMK, Cork City travels to Apollon Limassol with a 1-0 edge and The New Saints try to overturn a 1-0 deficit at home against MyPa to try to be the first Welsh club to advance to the Second Qualifying Round.
Champions League Second Round Qualifying Draw:
Linfield/Gorica v. Steaua Bucharest
Levski Sofia v. Sioni Bolnisi
FC Zürich v. Red Bull Salzburg
Djurgården v. Ružemberok
Debrecen v. FK Rabotnicki
Cork City/Apollon Limassol v. Red Star Belgrade
Fenerbahçe v. Birkikara/B36
Mladá Boleslav v. Vålerenga
Sheriff Tiraspol v. Spartak Moscow
Liepajas Metalurgs/Aktobe-Lento v. Dinamo Kiev
TVMK/Hafnarfjordur v. Legia Warsaw
FC København v. MyPa/The New Saints
Ekranas v. Dinamo Zagreb
Hearts v. Shakhtyor/Široki Brijeg