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Europa League Second Qualifying Roundup

After Celtic salvaged a modicum of respectability for Scottish Football on Wednesday night after beating Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar that was eroded last night after Hearts were dumped out of the Europa League by Maltese side Birkirkara.

After a goalless draw in the sweltering Maltese heat last Thursday, it was a terrible night at Tynecastle for Robbie Neilson’s side as they found themselves 2-0 down with 23 minutes to go, meaning that they would then have to score three times to progress to the next qualifying round. Connor Salmon managed to half the deficit with a quarter of an hour to go but it was nowhere near enough and Hearts found their European hopes broken for another season.

Their cross city rivals Hibs fared no better, after a 1-0 defeat to Brondby in the first and Neil Lennon serving a touchline ban after being sent to the stands during the first leg they had an uphill task to turn around the deficit. But Scottish Cup hero David Gray was once again the man of the moment as he scored the goal to put Hibs ahead on the night and level things at 1-1 in the tie.

After the end of 90 minutes it bought no more goals and that meant extra time and the prospect of penalties, but 30 more minutes of playing time couldn’t separate so the lottery of spot kicks loomed large. But it was to be heartbreak for Hibs as John McGinn missed Hibs’ first penalty in the shootout, and despite Paul Hanlon, Grant Holt and Martin Boyle converting theirs, Brondby took it 5-3.

Aberdeen will be flying the flag for Scotland in the next round as they ran out 1-0 winners against Latvian side Ventspils to win 4-0 on aggregate. While other British interest saw Connah’s Quay lose to Serbia’s FK Vojvodina and Cliftonville lose 2-0 to AEK Larnaca to go out 5-2 on aggregate.

Here is the draw for the third qualifying round

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Lokomotiva Croatia Ukraine Vorskla Poltava 28 Jul 4 Aug
Saint-Étienne France Greece AEK Athens 28 Jul 4 Aug
AEK Larnaca Cyprus Russia Spartak Moscow 28 Jul 4 Aug
Pandurii Târgu Jiu Romania Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 28 Jul 4 Aug
Vojvodina Serbia Belarus Dinamo Minsk 28 Jul 4 Aug
Zagłębie Lubin Poland Denmark SønderjyskE 28 Jul 4 Aug
Luzern Switzerland Italy Sassuolo 28 Jul 4 Aug
Slavia Prague Czech Republic Portugal Rio Ave 28 Jul 4 Aug
Birkirkara Malta Russia Krasnodar 28 Jul 4 Aug
AZ Netherlands Greece PAS Giannina 28 Jul 4 Aug
Jelgava Latvia Israel Beitar Jerusalem 28 Jul 4 Aug
Austria Wien Austria Slovakia Spartak Trnava 28 Jul 4 Aug
Panathinaikos Greece [D] Sweden AIK 28 Jul 4 Aug
Osmanlıspor Turkey Estonia Nõmme Kalju 28 Jul 4 Aug
Aberdeen Scotland Slovenia Maribor 28 Jul 4 Aug
Lille France Azerbaijan Gabala 28 Jul 4 Aug
FC Oleksandriya Ukraine Croatia Hajduk Split 28 Jul 4 Aug
Hertha BSC Germany Denmark Brøndby 28 Jul 4 Aug
İstanbul Başakşehir Turkey Croatia Rijeka 28 Jul 4 Aug
Heracles Almelo Netherlands Portugal Arouca 28 Jul 4 Aug
Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino Belarus Austria Rapid Wien 28 Jul 4 Aug
Genk Belgium Republic of Ireland Cork City 28 Jul 4 Aug
Shkëndija Republic of Macedonia Czech Republic Mladá Boleslav 28 Jul 4 Aug
Domžale Slovenia [D] England West Ham United 28 Jul 4 Aug
Videoton Hungary Denmark Midtjylland 28 Jul 4 Aug
IFK Göteborg Sweden Finland HJK 28 Jul 4 Aug
Admira Wacker Mödling Austria Czech Republic Slovan Liberec 28 Jul 3 Aug
Gent Belgium Romania Viitorul Constanța 28 Jul 4 Aug
Grasshopper Switzerland Cyprus Apollon Limassol 28 Jul 4 Aug

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