Valletta to play Kazakh champions Astana in Europa League

Valletta’s European club competition adventure is not over yet but a tough nut awaits them in Kazakhstan

Valletta FC will play their first leg match away at the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan
Valletta FC will play their first leg match away at the Astana Arena in Nur-Sultan

Valletta FC will travel to the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan to play against Astana in their first leg of the Europa League third qualifying round.

Valletta are the only remaining Maltese team in European club competitions after Gżira were knocked out on Thursday from the Europa League.

The Lilywhites will play in the Europa League after being knocked out from the Champions League by Ferencvaros of Hungary last week.

It will be a difficult match for Valletta against the Kazakh champions.

Astana were the first club from Kazakhstan to compete in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League four years ago. Astana have since played in the group stages of the Europa League.

No Maltese club has ever reached the group stages of the Champions League and the Europa League.

The first match will be played at the Astana Arena in the Kazakh capital on Thursday, 8 August at 4pm. The return match in Malta will be played at Ta’ Qali national stadium on 15 August at 8pm.

Valletta progressed from the first qualifying round of the Champions League after eliminating Dudelange of Luxembourg on the away goals rule. In the second qualifying round, Valletta lost 3-1 to Ferencvaros in Hungary and drew 1-1 in Malta.

Astana made it the third qualifying round of the Europa League after beating Andorra’s Santa Coloma 4-1 in Kazakhstan. The first leg had ended in a goalless draw.

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