Valletta to face FC Astana in UEFA Europa League third qualifying round

Champions Valletta will be facing FC Astana of Kazakhstan in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League champions path.

Astana suffered an early exit from the UEFA Champions League after being eliminated by CFR Cluj of Romania with a 3-2 aggregate score in the first qualifying round but in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, they beat FC Santa Coloma of Andorra with a 4-1 aggregate score.

Valletta, on the other hand, eliminated F91 Dudelange thanks to a 2-2 draw away from home and a 1-1 draw at Centenary Stadium but in the second qualifying round, against Ferencvaros, they lost the first leg 3-1 away from home with the second leg ending in a 1-1 draw.

Astana Football Club is a professional club based in Nur-Sultan – the capital of Kazakhstan, formerly known as Astana. They play in the Kazakhstan Premier League. Founded as Lokomotiv Astana in 2009, the club changed its name to Astana in 2011. They are members of the Astana Presidential Club, an association of the main sports teams in Astana supported by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna. 

The short history of the club already boasts five league titles in the last five years, three Kazakhstan Cups and four Super Cups.

They have been taking part in European competitions for the past seven years, reaching the group stage of either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League for the past four years. In 62 matches played in Europe, they won 22, drew 18 and lost 22.

The first leg will be played on August 8 at the Astana Arena with the return match scheduled for August 15.