With 50 Europa League qualifying matches played this week, we were bound to get an interesting one eventually. FK Suduva and Shakhter Soligorsk delivered with a 2-1 thriller that featured a bicycle kick goal, a red card and an extra time winner.
First, the bike:
These clubs have traditionally participated in the UEFA Champions League for many years. However, they won’t participate in the upcoming season. Who are they?
While many of you were out enjoying hot dogs, fireworks and America on July 4, Scottish club Rangers was busy embarrassing itself on the European stage.
Back in European football for the first time in six years, Rangers looked poised to advance past the first round of Europa League qualifying after taking a 1-0 lead in the home leg against FC Progrès Niederkorn.
Progrès Niederkorn, which finished fourth in Luxembourg, had scored all of one goal in its history in European competition coming into Tuesday’s match.
It’s not uncommon to come across stories of players taking a swig of beer in the supporters’ section after scoring a late goal or after a victory, but it’s extremely rare to see it casually done in the 29th minute of a Europa League playoff with the scores level at 0-0.
Perhaps Vereya defender Ivan Bandalovski needed a little hair of the dog following last night’s session or maybe it just irked him to see his favorite brew go to waste like that, but the Bulgarian used the barley pop like it was a Cool Blue Gatorade, a move usually reserved for intramural games in college.
I know what you're thinking, we're all crazy for putting this much faith in a cow to predict the outcome of something people in Las Vegas often miss. But, Paul The Octopus predicted Germany winning the World Cup in 2014, so I have faith in this cow.
Mathematically eliminated from a top-four finish in the Premier League, Manchester United now know that they need to win the Europa League in order to qualify for next year's Champions League.