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West Ham, Cork City And St. Pat’s Discover Potential Europa League Opponents

UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round Second Leg, Turner's Cross, Cork 7/7/2016 Cork City vs Linfield Cork's Mark O'Sullivan and Kirk Millar of Linfield Mandatory Credit

League of Ireland sides Cork City and St. Patrick’s Athletic both recorded 1-1 away draws in their respective Europa League Second Round qualifying ties on Thursday night.

Liam Buckley’s men came from a goal down to draw with Belarusian side Dinamo Minsk courtesy of a fabulous effort from Christy Fagan, while Cork City were unlucky to leave Sweden with a draw after conceding a late goal against domestic cup winners BK Häcken.

Both sides have the chance to finish the job on Irish soil next week, and should they do so they will know who they will be facing in the Third qualifying round.

Scottish sides Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian are also included in the draw. Aberdeen beat FK Ventspils 3-0, Hearts drew 0-0 at Birkirkara, while Neil Lennon’s first match as Hibs manager ended in a 1-0 home defeat to Dansh side Brøndby.

Northern Irish side Cliftonville recorded a 3-2 defeat at home to AEK Larnaca, while Welsh side Connah’s Quay Nomads went down 1-0 to Vojdovina

Also involved in today’s draw were Premier League side West Ham. The Hammers finished seventh in the league last year, but qualified for the competition by virtue of Manchester United winning the FA cup, thereby freeing up that particular berth (though by the mechanics of UEFA’s groupings, could not meet another British or Irish side).

West Ham join the likes of Hertha Berlin, Lille, Spartak Moscow, Sassuolo and AZ Alkmaar in this round.

Here are the ties that will be of interest to Irish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish clubs:

Vojdovina/Connah’s Quay vs. St. Patrick’s Athletic/Dinamo Minsk

Cliftonville/AEK Larnaca vs. Spartak Moscow

Hertha Berlin vs. Hibernian/Brøndby

West Ham United vs. Shakhtyor Soligorsk/NK Domžale

Aberdeen/FK Ventspils vs. NK Maribor/Levski Sofia

KRC Genk/Budućnost Podgorica vs. Cork City/BK Häcken

The ties could see St. Pat’s face off against Welsh opposition in the form of Connah’s Quay Nomads, though there would be the small matter of their potential opponents overturning a 1-0 deficit first.

Cork City, should they progress past BK Häcken next week, will face opposition from either Belgium or Montenegro in the next round – Genk, however, bring a 2-0 lead into the second leg and are looking good for qualification.

West Ham will be facing Easter European opposition regardless of the outcome of next week’s second leg – Shakhtyor Soligorsk and NK Domzale drew 1-1 in the first leg on Thursday.

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Aberdeen will face either NK Maribor or Levski Sofia, while Hibs’ reward for beating Brøndby would be a massive tie against Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

The first leg of each Third Round tie will be played on Thursday July 28th, with the return fixtures taking place on the 4th of August.

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Author: The PA Team

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