FC Copenhagen and AAB Aalborg both progressed to the final qualification playoff round of the Champions League after knocking out Ukrainian outfit Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, respectively.
The Lions had returned with a goalless draw from Ukraine two weeks ago and progressed to the next round thanks to goals from Andreas Cornelius and new signing Bashkim Kadrii.
“We had two jobs in the two games,” Ståle Solbakken, the coach of FCK, told Bold.dk “First we had to take Yevhen Konoplyanka out of the game. They created four chances over 180 minutes and he was behind three of them.”
“Secondly, we had to shut down their counter attacks and we managed that also. I must say that the discipline on such a young team was close to perfect over 180 minutes.”
Aalborg were under pressure after losing at home 0-1 in the first leg, but a spirited effort and two goals from Anders K. Jakobsen – also known as AK47 – was enough to send the Jutlanders through.
Lions hunting big game
Aalborg will take on FC Salzburg, Steaua Bucharest, Apoel Nicosia, BATE Borisov or Ludogorets in the final qualification playoff to reach to Champions League group stage.
FCK will have a much tougher obstacle in the next round, having to take on Arsenal, Porto, Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen or Zenit St. Petersburg to make the groups stage. Should either team lose the next round, however, they are guaranteed a place in the Europa League group stages. The draw for the next round is on Friday.
The two other Danish teams still left to play this week in the Europa League qualifications are Esbjerg and Brøndby.