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FC Qarabag arrive home to heroes' welcome after historic successes

24 August 2017 [13:14] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli
The triumphant FC Qarabag squad had a heroes' welcome upon their return to Azerbaijan after securing the place among Europe's elite clubs by eliminating København.
In a show of support, hundreds of fans arrived at the Baku International Airport to get a glimpse of their returning stars.
Fans, representatives of the sports community, residents of Baku and family members have gathered at the capital`s main airport to welcome home FC Qarabag, which became a first Azerbaijani football club to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
FC Qarabag has opened a new page in the history of Azerbaijani football, reaching the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
In the UEFA Champions League play-offs for the first time, Qarabagh FC was able to defeat a more experienced team.
Although Qarabagh FC lost to København in return match (2:1) due to the victory in Baku with a score 1: 0 the team has qualified to the group stage.
Even after tens of years, Azerbaijanis will remember and be proud of FC Qarabag, head coach Gurban Gurbanov and every player of the team that created the ordinary miracle. After the final whistle, Gurbanov did not hold back his tears. Now he's a legend for Azerbaijan!
Commenting on the club's entry into the group stage of the Champions League, the head coach was extremely brief.
“I congratulate the Azerbaijani people, fans, and in general everyone. We are happy that we were able to please our country. It is very important for our football to present in such tournaments. Playing in the group stage of the Champions League will be very useful for us and for the country,” he said.
While their travelling supporters partied in and around the stadium in Denmark following the historic achievement, fans back in Baku took to the streets in celebrations.
Fans across the city erupted into jubilation. Thousands of jubilant supporters turned the centre of Baku into a huge street party amid a sea of emotion. Flags waved from cars as jubilant fans celebrated in the streets of the capital city and chanted: "Karabakh"!
Traffic was brought to a standstill as fans young and old danced in the streets to the unrelenting accompaniment of sounding car horns.
Speaking about the results of the return match of the playoff round, Gurbanov said:
“The first half went well, although it was necessary to be more attentive on the defense. Back in Baku we saw that they are good at pressure. We wanted to get out of the pressure today and to counterattack. And we did it. But in their field, "Copenhagen" was more comfortable.
In the second half we had to play better, because the score did not satisfy us. The excitement was understandable given the significance of the match. But in the end we managed to achieve our goal” he said.
Gurbanov also informed about new transfers, saying that negotiations are ongoing.
Meanwhile, the draw for this season's UEFA Champions League group stage will take place on Thursday at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
On the eve, the composition of the baskets during the draw of the group stage of the Champions League was announced. "Karabagh" entered the fourth basket with CSKA (Russia), Celtic (Scotland), Feyenoord (Netherlands), Maribor (Slovenia), Leipzig (Germany), APOEL (Cyprus) and Sporting (Portugal).
32 teams will be divided into eight groups. Two best clubs from each group will reach the 1/8 finals, and the third team will play in the 1/16 finals of the Europa League.


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