The Europa League second round commences tomorrow evening, with Cork City in Gothenburg for the second time in their 32-year history looking for a vital away goal against BK Hacken, last sea son’s Swedish Cup winners.
The Leesiders have a mixed record in the Scandinavian country over the past four visits; they suffered a 3-0 loss against Gothenburg’s premier side IFK in 1999, then won against Malmo (1-0) in 2004, drew with Djurgardens (1-1) a year later, and lost 1-0 to Hammarby in 2007.
City assistant manager John Cotter knows the scale of the task “They have a lot of internationals and good players but we’ll be doing our homework and we’ll be set up to put in our own game plan,” said Cotter. It’s a tough task, we know they’re a good side but so are we, and we’re going to go over and have a go off it.”
The Leesiders still have a number of injury concerns. Greg Bolger, the June SWAI player of the month, is in a battle to be fit at the 6,500 capacity Bravida Arena. His deputy Garry Buckley has had a mixed year thus far, but after scoring on Sunday in an important win over Wexford, he’ll be hoping to kick on.
“I remember the old famous European games and there’s definitely a pride in being from Cork and playing in these,” says Buckley. “We’re not going over there to lie back, we’re looking to get an away goal to progress.“
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