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Spartak will play with Braga in the playoff round of the Europa League

Spartak Moscow beat Thun and entered the qualifying round of the Europa League playoffs, where they will play against Braga. However, in anticipation of a trip to Portugal, the red and white are worried about the upcoming derby from CSKA.

Spartak will play with Braga in the playoff round of the Europa League

August 15, Moscow “Spartak” and in a return match with “Thun” won in the framework of the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League. After Victoria in Switzerland, red and white it was enough not to lose with a difference of more than one goal, and it seemed that there were no prerequisites for the development of this scenario. However, already in the first half, Oleg Kononov's wards pretty much patted their nerves to their fans.

Stefan Glarner in the seventh minute of the match opened the score, having received the ball in the penalty area and inflicted a powerful blow into the far corner. Alexander Maksimenko in this episode was powerless.
The home team managed to recoup only in the second half of the meeting. At first, Ezekiel Ponce caught up with the mistake of the goalkeeper “Tuna” Guillaume Febvre, who hit the ball after hitting Andre Schürrle exactly on the Argentine’s foot, and then the German newcomer Spartak wrote down his name on the scoreboard.

Reziuan Mirzov completed a classy pass into the penalty area to the goalkeeper, leaving three defenders out of work at once, and then tried to strike into the far corner. The shot at the 26-year-old winger did not succeed, but it turned out to be a kind of backache along with the goalkeeper, which calmly closed Schurrle.
Thus, by the sum of two matches - 5: 3 - the red-white ones secured access to the qualifying round of the playoffs of the second most important club tournament in Europe, where they will play with the Portuguese “Braga”, who easily understood “Brondby” from Denmark (4 : 2, 3: 1).
Commenting on the victory, which was already the third in a row for Spartak in all tournaments, Oleg Kononov expressed the opinion that the first half of the return match with Tun was unsuccessful for his team because the players “overexposed the ball and did not have time to combine with flanks. " At the same time, the red-white coach expressed his respect for the Swiss club.

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“We must pay tribute to the opponent. The team is good, physically and tactically trained. For us, the first half was difficult, especially in the first minutes. Unfortunately, the first shot on target turned out to be a goal ”,
- said Kononov on the air "Match Premier."
A colleague of Spartak’s head coach, Tuna steering Mark Schneider also noted the successful start of his team, but later the Swiss made a lot of mistakes that led to two goals conceded.
“Spartak-level teams do not forgive. Which happened twice, but could happen more times. By the end of the match, our players are tired. “Spartak” naturally goes further, ”summed up the 39-year-old specialist.
The author of the first goal in the red and white Ezekiel Ponce spoke about the difficult victory over “Thun”, emphasizing that the team lacked two newcomers - Guus Thiel and Jordan Larrson. Both players at the qualifying stage of the Europa League cannot be declared for Spartak due to the fact that they have already played in the European tournament for their former clubs AZ and Norrkoping, respectively.
“It is a pity that we could not start the game from the first half as it should. It took a while to swing. Nevertheless, a strong-willed victory, the result is pleasing, grateful to the fans for their support. This is just the beginning of the journey. Everything is ahead, ”said the Argentine.
The captain of Spartak Georgy Dzhikia, in turn, noted the great role of Alexander Maksimenko in the obtained victory.
In the first half, the goalkeeper of the red-white made two cool saves, first repelling a dangerous shot by Sven Joss and neutralizing the one-on-one exit of Simone Rappa. In the second 45-minute, the 21-year-old goalkeeper also had to bail out his team several times, having successfully played at the exit several times.
“Perhaps the first goal knocked down our plans. But then we calmed down, packed up and scored two goals. We won and went to the next round, we achieved our goal. We were sure that we would go further. Everything was under control. Maksimenko saved us several times, so he is very grateful. He’s done, ”said Dzhikia, noting the upcoming derby with CSKA as part of the Russian Championship.
According to the captain of the Reds and Whites, the team has plenty of time to recover, although the game will take place on August 19, three days after the meeting with Thun. The importance of the upcoming derby was also noted by another central defender of Spartak Samuel Gigot, who stated that at the moment the team did not think about a meeting with Braga, but was set up exclusively for the game with a principled opponent.
“We will have an important game with CSKA on Monday. Only after it we will think about the Europa League, although with the “Braga”, of course, it will not be easy, ”the Frenchman stressed.
The first match in the playoff round of the Europa League qualification Spartak will play away. On August 22, the red-and-white will play in Braga at the local Municipal de Braga stadium, and a week later, on August 29, the Portuguese will take the Portuguese to the Opening of the Arena.

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