UEFA Europa Conference League: Mosta paired with Spartak Trnava; B’Kara and Gzira to face teams from San Marino and Andorra

Gzira United take on UE Sant Julia of Andorra for the second time in four years, Birkirkara were paired with La Fiorita of San Marino while Mosta were drawn with Spartak Trnava of Slovakia. The draw of the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round was held on Tuesday at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.

The three teams were drawn to play their first leg away from home and therefore UEFA is expected to invert at least one of the fixtures for a Maltese team to play at the first leg at home.

La Fiorita 1967 (SMR) vs Birkirkara

UE Sant Julià (AND) vs Gzira United

FK Spartak Trnava (SVK) vs Mosta

First qualifying round ties will be played on July 8 and 15. The winners advance to the second qualifying round, for which the draw will be made at 13:30 CET on Wednesday.

Gzira United, Birkirkara and Mosta are taking part in the UEFA Europa Conference League after placing third, fourth and sixth respectively. Mosta, in fact, were next in line after fifth-placed Sliema Wanderers withdrew their application for a UEFA licence.

La Fiorita 1967 (SMR) vs Birkirkara

La Fiorita were founded in 1967 and are based in Montegiardino, San Marino. They won the championship five times, the last time being in 2017/18 but finished as runners-up last season after losing the play-offs final 0-1 after extra-time to Folgore. However, they won the Coppa Titano – their sixth success in the competition – on penalties, defeating Tre Fiori. They won the Super Cup once and the Trofeo Federale three times.

They have been participating regularly in UEFA club competitions since 2012/13, so far earning just one draw in a match against Linfield of Northern Ireland. In 2013, they met Valletta in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round, losing 0-3 at home and 0-1 at the Hibernians Stadium.

UE Sant Julià (AND) vs Gzira United

Unió Esportiva Sant Julià are based in Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra. They won the Primera Divisió championship twice, finishing eight times as runners-up; the Copa Constitució six times and the Supercopa another six times. Last season, they finished third in the league but won the Copa Constitució after beating Atlètic Club d’Escaldes 2-1.

They have been taking part in UEFA club competitions since 2001, including the now-defunct UEFA Intertoto Cup, qualifying for a second round of a UEFA competition in 2009 when they eliminated Tre Fiori of San Marino on penalties in the UEFA Champions League. Three years ago, they were paired with Gzira in the preliminary round of the UEFA Europa League. The Maroons won 2-0 in Andorra and 2-1 at the Centenary Stadium to make it to the next round with a 4-1 aggregate score.

FK Spartak Trnava (SVK) vs Mosta

Like La Fiorita and Sant Julià, Spartak Trnava are no new face for local teams. In fact, this will be their fifth clash with a Maltese club in a UEFA club competition. In 1969/70, they defeated Hibernians with a 6-2 aggregate score in the first round of the Champions Cup, In 1997/98, they eliminated Birkirkara from the UEFA Cup first qualifying round, beating them with a 4-1 aggregate score. In 2014/15, they were drawn again with Hibernians in the first qualifying round of the Europa League beating them with a 9-2 aggregate score while two years later, they were paired with the Paolites once again in the UEFA Europa League, this time beating them with a 6-0 aggregate score.

Being founded in 1923, they are one of the most successful clubs in the country, having won the Czechoslovak First League five times and the Czechoslovak Cup on four occasions, and reaching the semi-final of the European Cup once and the quarter-final twice. More recently, the club won the Slovak league title in 2018 and Slovak cup in 2019 and in 2018/19, they reached the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. They finished third in the Slovak Super Liga last season.

First qualifying round draw
Group 1
Levadia Tallinn (EST)* vs St Joseph’s (GIB)
Inter Turku (FIN) vs Puskás Akadémia (HUN)*
Dečić (MNE) vs Drita (KOS)*
Sūduva (LTU)* vs Valmiera (LVA)

Group 2
La Fiorita 1967 (SMR)* vs Birkirkara (MLT)
Mons Calpe (GIB) vs Santa Coloma (AND)*
Velež (BIH) vs Coleraine (NIR)*
Domžale (SVN)* vs Swift Hesper (LUX)

Group 3
Shkupi 1987 (MKD)* vs Llapi (KOS)
Dinamo Batumi (GEO) vs Tre Penne (SMR)*
Sfintul Gheorghe (MDA) vs Partizani (ALB)*
Maribor (SVN)* vs Urartu (ARM)

Group 4
Laçi (ALB)* vs Podgorica (MNE)
Milsami Orhei (MDA) vs FK Sarajevo (BIH)*
Noah (ARM) vs KuPS Kuopio (FIN)*
Žilina (SVK)* vs Dila Gori (GEO)

Group 5
FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)* vs Sligo Rovers (IRL)
Paide Linnameeskond (EST) vs Śląsk Wrocław (POL)*
RFS (LVA) vs KÍ Klaksvík (FRO)*
Bala Town (WAL)* vs Larne (NIR)

Group 6
Fehérvár FC (HUN)* vs Ararat Yerevan (ARM)
Gagra (GEO) vs Sutjeska (MNE)*
Sileks (MKD) vs Petrocub-Hincesti (MDA)*
Široki Brijeg (BIH)* vs Vllaznia (ALB)

Group 7
Stjarnan (ISL)* vs Bohemians (IRL)
Glentoran (NIR) vs The New Saints (WAL)*
Sant Julià (AND) vs Gzira United FC (MLT)*
Europa (GIB)* vs Kauno Žalgiris (LTU)

Group 8
Dundalk (IRL)* vs Newtown (WAL)
Spartak Trnava (SVK)* vs Mosta (MLT)
Struga (MKD) vs Liepāja (LVA)*
Racing FC Union Lëtzebuerg (LUX) vs Breidablik (ISL)*
Honka Espoo (FIN) vs NSÍ Runavík (FRO)*

*Seeded teams