Eintracht Frankfurt took on FC Vaduz of Liechtenstein, in Thursday night’s opening leg of the third qualifying round for the UEFA Europa League.
Last season’s surprise semifinalists were the clear favorites to advance to the next round. The 2018 German Cup winners were in no mood to let their opponents even dream of an upset. Instead, it was the Eagles who put five unanswered goals past Vaduz.
In this 5-0 first leg away triumph, Filip Kostic scored twice, while Dominik Kohr, Goncalo Paciencia and Mijat Gacinovic accounted for the rest of the goals.
FC Vaduz is an interesting club, being the only professional team in the principality of Liechtenstein. They have a special permission to play in the Swiss league pyramid. There, they currently occupy a place in the second tier.
They have been in the Swiss top flight before, but that is not what gets them a place in European qualifying. Instead, Vaduz makes it there by virtue of winning the domestic cup competition of Liechtenstein.
This is similar to the three Canadian teams who play in the US’s Major League Soccer, but have to win the Canadian Cup, in order to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
With that in mind, Vaduz has done quite well to even reach the third round of qualifying. Unlike Eintracht Frankfurt who had a bye into the second round, FCV started play in the first. They advanced twice because of good home performances, but the Eagles are on a different level.
Eintracht Frankfurt has made it quite clear that they have the desire to make another major run in the Europa League. Both the performances on the field so far and their attitude off it prove that.
Assuming that Vaduz will not produce a major miracle in Frankfurt next week, there will be just one more round between the Eagles and the group stage.