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Heartbreak for Welsh students as Cork's City's Europa League opponents are confirmed

Cardiff Metropolitan University have missed out on a place in the first qualifying round on away goals.

Cardiff MU v Progres - UEFA Europa League - Preliminary Round - Second Leg - Cardiff Athletics Stadium Cardiff Metropolitan University players celebrate after going 2-0 up against Progres Niederkorn. Source: Simon Galloway

CORK CITY NOW know exactly who will stand between them and a potential European showdown with Scottish giants Rangers later this month.

City will face Progres Niederkorn over two legs in the first qualifying round of the Europa League after the Luxembourg outfit prevailed in dramatic circumstances tonight.

Progres took a 1-0 lead into this evening’s second leg of their preliminary round tie against Cardiff Metropolitan University in the Welsh capital.

Nevertheless, the students appeared on course to cause an upset when a 67th-minute Dylan Rees penalty gave them the upper hand following Jordan Lam’s early opener.

However, there was heartbreak for the Welsh part-timers — who each contribute €170 annually towards the running of their club — when Mayron de Almeida made it 2-1 on the night with 17 minutes remaining, which was enough for Progres to advance on away goals.

Cardiff MU v Progres - UEFA Europa League - Preliminary Round - Second Leg - Cardiff Athletics Stadium The Progres Niederkorn team pictured before the game. Source: Simon Galloway

While Cardiff Metropolitan University were competing in Europe for the first time, Progres Niederkorn have achieved some significant results in recent seasons.

After eliminating Rangers from the Europa League in 2017-18, they reached the third qualifying round last season thanks to victories over Gabala (Azerbaijan) and Honved (Hungary).

Next up for Progres is a first-leg meeting with Cork City at Turner’s Cross this coming Thursday, 11 July, which will be followed by the return leg in Luxembourg seven days later.

The prize for the winners will be a meeting with Rangers or St Joseph’s of Gibraltar in the second qualifying round (games scheduled for 25 July and 1 August).

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Paul Dollery

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