Kukesi vs Sheriff Tiraspol by Isaiah
Kukesi did got defeated in the first leg, however must be said that the result was a satisfying one and even though there is a class difference between two teams, the Albanian side will still have a chance to impress, improve further and be active in the battle for the third qualifying round of Champions League after narrow defeat in first leg with a 1:0 result.
Of course, team from Moldova was more active on the field, looked way more dangerous and threatening, but couldn't convert their chances easily - also should be noted, the tempo was pretty decent for this level, while the Albanians generally stood well in the defense and had also their chances, but conceded the only goal in 79th minute with a penalty taken by Badibanga. Albanian league is yet to start, while they suffered losses to Wolfsberger and Dynamo Moscow prior to Champions League qualifiers (conceding thirteen goals in these two), also celebrating 1:0 victory over Rostov in between. Hosts should be able to field up their best starting eleven.
Sherrif managed to take the victory after all in the first leg, however they surely won't be completely satisfied as the team failed to obtain some convincing lead that would make the second game much more relaxed for them. Instead of it, they were attacking for the most of the time and need to improve in front of opponent's goal, that's for sure.
Only goal came eleven minutes before the end, from a deserved penalty awarded, while the team showed similar performance in the season opening league game in Moldovan championship when they visited Dacia Chinshau last Saturday evening and took just a point in a 1:1 draw. Dacia took the lead in 12th minute via an own goal, while team from Tiraspol responded in 44th via Brezovec, attacking mostly further however without being too concrete and without much of luck. Newly signed forward Stefan Mugosa will not be playing here.
First leg was actually with quite a decent tempo and offensive phases from both sides and I can see today's game just being more open. Albanian side still has a decent result and will need to attack here sooner or later, leaving more space for opponent to score - meanwhile, neither Kukesi are completely without offensive power. Value is with over goals here.