Hibernians eye UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round spot

Hibernians will be aiming at securing a place in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League champions path as they host SS Folgore of San Marino in the second leg of the second qualifying round at the Centenary Stadium on Tuesday, kick-off at 20:00.

A 3-1 win in the first leg at the San Marino Stadium puts the Paolites, who entered the UEFA Champions League after replacing Hamrun Spartans but were eliminated with a 0-5 aggregate score by Flora Tallinn of Estonia, as firm favourites to reach the next stage which would be a first for the club who had never advanced beyond the second qualifying round of a UEFA competition. A clash with Riga FC of Latvia or Shkëndija of North Macedonia awaits them with Riga starting as favourites following the 2-0 home win last week.

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In San Marino, the Paolites conceded an early goal but Jurgen Degabriele equalised and Jake Grech scored twice to hand them a two-goal advantage. With a similar display on Tuesday, Stefano Sanderra’s side should be able to secure qualification with another positive result although Folgore, who were eliminated by Valletta with a 0-3 aggregate score in the UEFA Europa League in 2017, will be aiming at making life difficult for Hibernians.

Throughout the club’s history, Hibs qualified for a further round on three occasions. They eliminated Shelbourne from the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round in 2002 and FCI Tallinn of Estonia from the same competition and Vaduz of Liechtenstein from the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round last season.

The third qualifying round is scheduled for August 5 and 12.