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UEFA Champions League Preview: Harrison eyes TNS progression

Craig Harrison is confident The New Saints can book their place in the second round of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after a first-leg win over B36.

The Welsh side enjoyed a 2-1 success last week in the Faroe Islands to boost their chances of making it past the opening round of the competition, with Harrison confident home advantage will have an impact in the second leg.

Michael Wilde’s last minute winner was the difference between the two sides on July 1, TNS coming from a goal down after falling behind in the seventh minute.

TNS have made it past this stage of the competition in the past three seasons, and Harrison is targeting a fourth straight year in the second round.

“I am very confident that we can progress after picking up a great result away from home last week,” he told the club’s official website.

“To go away from home in Europe is always difficult so to get a win was magnificent.

“I am very confident we can progress and I firmly believe that we can score a goal at Park Hall, which will put us in a great position.”

Only one of last week’s other three qualifiers provided goals, Armenian champions Pyunik holding a 2-1 advantage over Folgore Falciano from San Marino.

Pyunik will travel to the microstate looking for an away goal to all but seal their place in the next round, something the club have not achieved since the 2011-12 season.

They will be aided by the absence of Folgore’s striker Fabio Ceschi, the 33-year-old serving a one-match ban after receiving two yellow cards in the first leg.

Lincoln Red Imps – playing in only their second Champions League campaign – have the chance to make club history when they travel to Andorra to meet Santa Coloma, the Gibraltarian champions looking to book their first appearance in the second round of qualifying.

Tuesday’s other tie – also goalless from the first leg – sees Levadia host Crusaders in Tallinn, with the Northern Irish champions aiming to stay in the competition beyond the first qualifying stage for the first time.

Mon 6 Jul, 2015
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