Union to Finland or Kazakhstan: “It’s going to be an adventure”, Conference League – Newstaker

Finland or Kazakhstan. 1. FC Union Berlin immediately recognizes the dangers of the Conference League in the qualifiers.

From a sporting point of view, the door to the group stage of the European Cup on iron is wide open after the play-off draw with Kuopio PS or FK Astana as possible contenders. But logistically, the qualifying round will be a challenge for the Bundesliga football team.

The first match will either go to the Finnish football district on August 19 or, more likely and more difficult, through four time zones and several thousand kilometers by air to Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. “No matter if it’s Kazakhstan or Finland. One thing is for sure – it’s going to be an adventure,” goalkeeper Andreas Luth tweeted after Monday’s draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, adding a powerful gesture to his contribution.

Coach Urs Fischer, managing director Oliver Rohnert and club president Dirk Zingler did not comment publicly after the draw. It was said that one wanted to wait and see who the opponent would be in the end. Where the union trip will go between the first two matches of the Bundesliga season against Bayer Leverkusen (15 August) and at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (22 August) will be decided in the duel between Kuopio and Astana in the third qualifying round on August 5 and 12 August. Astana, who reached the group stage of the Champions League in 2015, are the favorites to face Kuopio.

The return leg is scheduled for August 26 in Berlin. This match will take place at Olympiastadion, as the stadium in Alte Försterei does not meet UEFA requirements for spectators. Immediately after qualifying for the European Cup in May, Zingler spoke in favor of moving to the much larger arena in the west of the capital so that as many Etihad fans as possible could watch the match in the stadium.

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Berlin players qualified for the new European Cup as the seventh surprise in the German league table. Max Kroes scored the decisive goal on the final day of the match in a 2-1 win over RB Leipzig before the final whistle. As the qualifier winners, the capitals will move on to the group stage starting on September 16th. The first conference tournament winner will be decided in the final on 25 May 2022 in the Albanian capital, Tirana.

Kuopio and Astana were among the lesser known lottery options. Feyenoord Rotterdam, KAA Gent or PAOK Saloniki were spared the Federation as potential enemies. The betting system had already made it clear that Union would not be able to meet top teams such as AS Roma, Tottenham Hotspur or the former Fischer Club FC Basel until the group stage at the earliest.

For Union Berlin, this is the second participation in a European competition. In 2001, the Köpenickers team qualified for the DFB Cup Finals for the UEFA Cup. That was when the first trip was to Finland. Against Haka Valkeakoski Union he came in second place. The end came in the second round against Litex Lovech of Bulgaria.


dpa
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Wing: 02.08.2021, 15:31

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