The main draw for the Champions League is far from Rangers FC. Dutch coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team lost the first match against the Belgian Federation in the third preliminary round on Tuesday. It became 2-0.
Back in Scotland next week. The winner will face PSV Eindhoven or AS Monaco in the qualifiers, where a group stage ticket can be won. Monaco’s match against PSV Eindhoven ended in a draw in France on Tuesday (1-1).
Union, the surprise No. 2 winner last season in Belgium, took the lead after half an hour of play through captain Teddy Touma. Dante Vanzier doubled the lead by using a penalty fifteen minutes before the end of the match. Dutch defender Bart Neukop played the entire match in Union. Osama El Azouzi, who coached Emine last week, remained on the bench.
Van Bronckhorst reached the Europa League final with Rangers last season. Eintracht Frankfurt was very strong after the penalties
Schmidt is good on his way with Benfica
Roger Schmidt is almost certain of his place in the Champions League qualifiers with Benfica. The German coach, who had PSV Eindhoven under his wing in the previous two seasons, witnessed his team’s 4-1 victory over FC Midtjelland on Tuesday. A return in Denmark will follow next week.
Striker Goncalo Ramos played the leading role with three goals at Benfica as former Ajax player David Neres took the starting place and was replaced shortly before the time. The final result had already been reached by that time. Belgian Jan Vertonghen, also a former Ajax player, remained on the bench. In the play-off matches, Benfica of Midtjylland will face Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv or Austrian club Sturm Graz. The first meeting between these two clubs is Wednesday.
Benfica reached the main draw for the Champions League last season, beating PSV Eindhoven in the play-offs. In the eighth finals, the Portuguese were too strong for Ajax.
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