Aug 26 2010

Zilina make history! Ceesay ‘wonder-goal’ seals comfortable passage to Champions League

Published by at 6:16 pm under European and tagged: , ,

MSK Zilina eased to a 1-0 home victory over Sparta Prague last night to add to the 0-2 advantage they bought home with them from the Czech capital 8 days earlier.  Zilina therefore progress to the Champions League group stage draw with a 3-0 aggregate victory and in doing so become only the 3rd Slovak club to ever qualify for the Champions League.

Pre-match favourites Sparta were in disarray in the first leg, and even the return of Sonko and Wilfried couldn’t turn things around in the return match in front of a sell-out crowd of over 10,000 in Northern Slovakia. A missed penalty from Sparta could have led to an exciting finish, but in the end I suppose the penalty just summed up a miserable performance from Sparta, who pick up the consolation of Europa League qualification (what Slovan Bratislava would give for that!)  As I attended Ajax v Dinamo Kiev on the same night, all I saw of the match was the goal from Momodou Ceesay, a player I have been raving about in previous posts.   Ceesay’s dramatic goal scored with an athletic overhead kick will surely reinforce on the 21-year old Gambian striker’s credentials even further in the eyes of prospective buyers. Now Zilina are set to perform on a world stage, the possibilities for Ceesay and other members of the squad are huge.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am primarily a Slovan fan, but this result really brings home the importance of teams from the same country doing well in Europe. Obviously the money is a huge reward for Zilina, whatever the actual figure is for participating in the Champions League, it is sure to be several times higher than the average annual budget of clubs in the Slovak domestic competition.  However, it provides real encouragement to other teams that focussing on youth development, building a decent stadium for the community to watch football and bringing in a few overseas players looking to get noticed on the European stage can really deliver huge rewards. Zilina’s UEFA coefficient will rise significantly which can only benefit other Slovak clubs hoping to gain entry to European competitions in future years.  This particular victory against the Czech Champions will also raise the profile of the Slovak game not only domestically but also across the border as discussions continue over a possible merger of the 2 leagues.

As Zilina go into the draw with the biggest names in European football, anticipation is huge.  I’ll be back after the draw with reaction and initial preview of the 3 teams the Slovak Champions will face in the upcoming months.

BritskiBelasi Dream pool?

Chelsea (Ceesay was on their books 3 years ago!)

Real Madrid (obvious reasons!)

Schalke 04 (close for me to get to the game!)

MSK ZIlina

Whatever happens, the draw is sure to bring up some mouthwatering ties for all the teams involved!

tbc …

One response so far

One Response to “Zilina make history! Ceesay ‘wonder-goal’ seals comfortable passage to Champions League”

  1.   ShelbyGUERRAon 01 Feb 2012 at 6:07 am

    It is known that money makes people disembarrass. But how to act if someone does not have cash? The one way is to get the loan or bank loan.

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