On Thursday, four football teams from Romania will play in the second leg of the third preliminary round of the European Conference League. The Romanian champions, CFR Cluj, will meet Shakhtior Soligorsk, from Belarus, on home ground, from 8 p.m. Romanian time. The first leg of the double-header took place last week in Turkey and ended in a draw, 0-0. If it passes Shakhtior Soligorsk, CFR Cluj will play, in the Conference League group stage, with the team that loses the match pitting Maribor, from Slovenia, against Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi, from Finland, from the Europa League preliminaries. In the first match, on Thursday, the Finnish players won 2-0, away from home.
The winner of Romania’s Cup, Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe, will also play from 8 p.m. Coach Cristiano Bergodi's trainees will meet, away from home, the Swedish team Djurgården, that defeated them, last week, at home, 3 - 1. Romania’s team stands slim chances of qualification, but, if they move forward, Sepsi will play against the winner of the match between the Cypriot team APOEL Nicosia and FC Kîzîljar Petropavlovsk, from Kazakhstan. On Thursday, the Cypriots won 1-0 at home.
From 8:30 p.m., Bucharest’s National Arena will host the match pitting FCSB, the Romanian vice-champions, against the Slovak team Dunajska Streda. In last Wednesday’s match away from home FCSB won 1-0. If they eliminate the Slovak team, FCSB will play in the play-offs against Viking Stavanger, from Norway, or Sligo Rovers, from Ireland. In the first match Viking won, at home, 5-1.
Also from 8:30 p.m., Universitatea Craiova meets the Ukrainian team Zaria Lugansk on home ground. The first match, held in Poland, ended with the victory of the Ukrainians, 1-0. As of Tuesday, Universitatea Craiova has a new coach, Mirel Rădoi, a former selector of the Romanian national team. If they go further, Universitatea Craiova will meet, in the play-offs, the winner of the match between the Swiss team FC Lugano and the Israeli team Hapoel Beer-Sheva. In the first match, in Switzerland, the Israeli team won 2-0. (LS)