FC Krasnodar to Compete with HJK from Finland for the Group Stage of UEFA Europa League

Oleg Kononov, FC Krasnodar Head Coach, commented upon the results of the draw

The draw for the play-off round of the UEFA Europa League 2015/16 took place in Nyon, Switzerland on July 7th. Following its results FC Krasnodar got to know their opposition the Bulls are to compete with in a two-legged tie to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.

The draw chose Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK) from Finland as the opposition for the Bulls. The Helsinki team has been a continuous champion of their country for the last 6 years. In the current national championship (in Finland it goes under a traditional “spring-to-autumn” system) HJK is also leading in the standings after the 21 matchdays played out of 33.

HJK Helsinki began their journey in the UEFA Cups this season in the 2nd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League where they beat FK Ventspils from Latvia. In the 3rd qualifying round the Finnish team lost on an aggregate score to FC Astana from Kazakhstan, so now HJK will be fighting FC Krasnodar to get into the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.

The first leg match of the play-off round is to take place in Krasnodar on 20 August, while the second one will be an away game on 27 August.

Oleg Kononov, FC Krasnodar Head Coach, commented upon the results of the draw:

  • HJK has been the strongest club of Finland for many years and it deserves to be respected for its achievements. This team has a great experience of playing in the UEFA tournaments; it participates in UEFA Champions League and Europa League every year. That is why we are facing very tough games, and we do not consider ourselves favorites here. The score is equal before the two-legged tie, and we will be fighting to win in every one of these matches.