Belgian side Gent will be the last obstacle for Shkendija before the group stage of the Europa League.
Earlier today in the Swiss city of Nyon, UEFA made the draw for the last qualifying round of the Europa League, the play-off. Macedonia had one representative in Shkendija as the Tetovo based team eliminated Mladá Boleslav last night.
The decided that Shkendija will have to face Gent from Belgium. The first game will be played on the road on the 18th this month, while the return leg is scheduled for the 25th in Skopje.
Gent ended up third last season in the Belgian top flight behind Anderlecht and champions Club Brugge. Unlike Shkendija, in the Europa League qualifiers they started from the third round where they eliminated Romanian side Viitorul from Constanța. First they humiliated at home with a score of 5:0 and later played a goalless draw in Romania.
It will be the second time for Gent to face a Macedonian club as in 2004 they played with Vardar in the second round of the Intertoto Cup. Both teams won 1:0 at home, but Vardar advanced after winning 4:3 on penalties on the road.
This is the 5th time a Macedonian team to reach the play-offs in the Europa League. Last season Rabotnichki faced Rubin and in 2011 the same club played against Lazio. Rabotnichki had another occassion when in 2006 they faced Basel after being eliminated from the Champions League, while Vardar did the same in 2003 when they faced Roma. In every occasion the Macedonian side failed to eliminate the last obstacle before the Europa League group stage. Now Shkendija will thy its luck.
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