Genk vs Cork City by Meese
Genk progressed against Montenegrin side Buducnost much more difficult than what was expected, especially after their 2:0 victory in the first leg in front of their fans at home. It was evident that players of Genk under estimated the opponent and didn't believe they could end up in trouble later on.
In the returning leg they have conceded the goal already in the first minute, while additionally difficult was conceding of second goal just before the halftime whistle. Things to be worse, they had to play with a man less from 75th minute on when Kumordzi left the field due red card, so it's not a wonder that the Belgians didn't find a way to respond during the extra-time. Still, the side was a bit more calm and lucky during the penalty kicks and are now determined not to repeat the same mistake.
Their domestic league is set to start this weekend, with players of Genk starting the season at home against Oostende this Sunday evening. They didn't bring much players for now during the transfer window, but important players such as de Camargo and Kabasele have left the team. Midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo is doubtful for this one, but will probably make it. Coach Peter Maes won't be able to count at defensive midfielder Bennard Kumordzi who got red carded in the previous round game in Podgorica.
Cork made pretty big surprise in the previous round of Europa League qualifiers, as they excluded Swedish side Hacken, following a draw and a victory. They will be playing now in the third round of European competition for the first time in eleven years.
They already made a slight surprise in the first leg when the team walked away with a 1:1 draw in Sweden, but must be said that their goal was scored from a penalty kick, while the Swedish team played with a man less in last twenty five minutes of the game. Only goal in the returning leg was scored back in 26th minute via O'Connor, while there's no doubt that the visitors from Sweden were much better during the second leg, but simply couldn't score.
As for the domestic league, the team is currently at the second position, six points below leaders from Dundalk, but aren't affected with busy schedule since their couple of domestic matches got postponed once the team started qualifying path in Europe. Central midfielder Greg Bolger (16/0) is doubtful, while injured remain right full back John Kavanagh (no performance yet in the season and central defender John Dunleavy (13/0).
Players of Genk are clear favorites ahead of this game and I believe they'll do everything to almost seal the qualification after the first leg. Two goals victory seems like easier task here and I'll gladly take the current odds.