- First Stop for PAS Giannina...Scandinavia -
PAS Giannina will begin their first ever European campaign in Scandinavia. The Epirotes will play in the Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round against the winner of the Odd/Mariehamn pair from the 1st Qualifying Round. PAS Giannina will host the first leg on July 14th and will play away on July 21st for the second leg.
Norway's Odd BK or Finland's IFK Mariehamn will be PAS Giannina’s first opponent in this year’s Europa League. PAS Giannina will be the first Greek team to kick off their European season, taking part in the Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round. The Epirotes were “seeded” in the draw and were paired with a theoretically easier opponent. Odd BK and IFK Mariehamn will play in the Europa League 1st Qualifying round and the winner over two legs will face the team from Giannina. The first leg is scheduled for July 14th at the Zosimades Stadium in Giannina and the second leg will take place in either Norway or Finland. PAS Giannina will know their opponent on July 7th when the two Scandinavian teams play their second leg in the 1st Qualifying Round.
The two Cypriot teams, Omonia and AEK Larnaca were drawn with Folgore (San Marino) and Banants (Armenia) for the 1st Qualifying Round. A theoretically good draw for both teams.
Who is Odd BK: Odd BK is based out of Skien, Norway and plays their football at the Skagerak Arena (12,000 capacity). They have won the Norwegian Tippeligaen on 2 occasions and have won the Norwegian Soccer Cup 12 times, the most by any club in Norway. This past season Odd BK finished 5th in the Tippeligaen League and were knocked out of the Norwegian Soccer cup in the 4th Round. They currently are 2nd in this season’s Tippeligaen, 5 points behind first placed Rosenborg. This is their 4th appearance in UEFA’s competitions and last year they reached the Europa League Playoff Qualifying Round, eliminating Sheriff Tiraspol, Shamrock Rovers, and Elfsborg. They were defeated by Borussia Dortmund 11-5 over two legs in the Playoff Qualifying Round. Odd BK is coached by 49-year old Dag-Eilev Fagermo.
Who is IFK Mariehamn: IFK Mariehamn is based out of Mariehamn, Finland and plays their football at the Wiklof Holding Arena (4,000 capacity). They have never won Finland’s Veikkausliiga and won Finland’s Soccer Cup for the first time last season. This past season IFK Mariehamn finished 6th in the Veikkausliiga and gained their place in Europe by winning the domestic cup. They currently are tied for 1st in this season’s Veikkausliiga along with HJK Helsinki. This is their 2nd appearance in UEFA’s competitions and were knocked out by Inter Baku in 2013 in the 1st Qualifying Round. They are coached by Peter Lundberg and Kari Virtanen.