APOEL Nicosia vs Qarabag FK : Bafana star Percy Tau recently made his debut in Belgium’s top flight, and is set to take one step closer towards appearing in the Uefa Champions League, with his new club taking part in the play-off of the prestigious tournament.
APOEL Nicosia vs Qarabag FK
The 25-year-old joined Belgian Pro League outfit Club Brugge on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion, just after spending the previous campaign in the country’s second tier.
He made an immediate impact for “The Blue Black”, finding the net on debut in a 6-0 thumping of Sint-Truiden.
Ukrainian voyage awaits Percy Tau
Tau is now in line to place another feather in his cap, with Brugge set to host Ukraine giants Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round of the Champions League on Tuesday.
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This is after the Belgian outfit qualified for the play-offs by finishing second in their domestic league behind Racing Genk, the former club of Tau’s ex-Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Anele Ngcongca.
Brugge and Kyiv will compete over two legs, with the Belgian side hosting the first encounter at the Jan Breydel Stadium.
The second leg takes place in Kyiv at the NSC Olympiyskiy, the same venue which hosted the 2018 Uefa Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
South African players in the Uefa Champions League
Should Brugge make it out of the two-legged tie, they progress to the next round of the play-offs, where they are set to come against one of Switzerland’s FC Basel or LASK Linz from Austria.
Qualification for the group stage of the Champions League for Brugge would see Tau become the ninth South African player to appear in the European showpiece, joining the likes of Benni McCarthy – who went all the way with FC Porto in 2004 – as well as Quinton Fortune and Thulani Serero among others.
The last South African to grace the prestigious stage was Tau’s Bafana teammate Dino Ndlovu, who’s former side Qarabag from Azerbaijan had a brief but memorable run in the 2017/18 edition. The draw for the 2019/20 Uefa Champions League play-offs took place in Nyon, Switzerland, today, and Percy Tau’s new team Club Brugge found out who they will face in their mission to qualify for the competition’s group stage.
Click through the mini-gallery above to see some images from Tau’s brilliant debut for Brugge.
Tau, who scored on his Brugge debut on the weekend, joined the Belgian club on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion last week.
The Bafana Bafana star was immediately selected for the starting XI just days after joining his new side, and was on the scoresheet in his new club’s 6-0 rout of Sint-Truiden.
On Tuesday, though, Tau and Brugge will face a trickier task as they go up against Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv in the third qualifying round for this season’s UCL group stage.
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Brugge will host the Ukraine runners-up on 6 August, before travelling for a tricky away fixture on 13 August. Should they get past Kyiv, they will face the winner of FC Basel and LASK in the play-offs, the fixtures of which were drawn on Monday.Last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax will take on either Qarabag or Apoel Nicosia in this year’s playoff for the group stage if they find a way past Paok Thessaloniki in the third qualifying round of the showcase European club competition.
The Dutch side do not get automatic entry to the groups despite winning the Eredivisie for the 34th time and coming within seconds of reaching the final of last season’s campaign.
It is not the easiest of ties for Ajax who have already lost several players from their exciting young squad, with central defender Matthijs de Ligt at Juventus and midfielder Frenkie de Jong joining Lionel Messi at Barcelona.