FC Copenhagen qualify for knockout stage of Conference League on good night for Danish clubs

All four clubs could end up in the final 32 of Europe’s third tier tournament at this rate, although Brøndby will require a miracle

FC Copenhagen have qualified for the knockout stage of the UEFA Conference League by topping Group F.

However, qualification hasn’t been a formality. A 1-2 home defeat to PAOK in their third game threatened to derail their bid, but they got back on track with an impressive win in the return fixture.

Last night the Copenhagen side thrashed Gibraltarian part-timers Lincoln Red Imps 4-0 in a stadium just a stone’s throw from Africa. 

If the scoreline doesn’t sound brutal, consider that FCK were two up within the first seven minutes and then eased off the gas.

Victorious FCM must now beat minnows to advance
Meanwhile, victory away at Bulgarian outfit PFC Ludogorets 1945 on December 9 will secure FC Midtjylland passage through to the final 32 of the Europa League following a 3-2 defeat of Portuguese rival SC Braga last night. 

A penalty deep in stoppage time proved the difference after the Portuguese team had equalised in the 85th minute. 

Failure to advance will be difficult for FCM to accept given that they have only lost one of their five games so far. 

But will their failure to beat Ludogorets at home in their opening game, the Bulgarian side’s solitary point of the campaign, come back to haunt them? 

A draw for FCM, who sit third with eight points, one adrift of Braga and two behind Crvena zvezda, will most probably not be enough, thus placing them in the knockout stage of the Conference League.

Randers and Brøndby still in contention
Randers also have qualification in their hands following a 2-1 victory against CFR Cluj – the first victory of their Conference League campaign.

A win away at group winners AZ Alkmaar will assure then safe passage, as they now stand in second, a point ahead of Jablonec, who travel to CFR Cluj in their final game.

Randers remain unbeaten in the group thanks to four previous draws, so it will be something of a travesty if they draw again and Jablonec win, as they could conceivably be eliminated undefeated.

Finally, back in the Europa League, Brøndby lost 1-3 to Lyon and only have two points from five games, five points adrift of second place.

However, if they win away at third-place Sparta Prague in their final game, they will overtake them and qualify for the knockout stage of the Conference League.