The stakes are in the tap on Thursday night as Cluj and KuPS hit each other in the Europa League qualifiers: the winner will advance to the group stage by about three million richer.
The match is played in one piece until the final decision, ie if necessary, there is an overtime and a penalty race ahead. According to Uefa regulations, the match will be played behind closed doors without an audience.
KuPS assists in the match as a clear underdog. According to the estimates of bookmakers, the probability of a block location for Kuopio residents is in the order of about 15 percent. No wonder, as Cluj is an experienced Euro visitor who has won the Romanian championship three times in the tube.
– We’re looking forward to the game. Cluj is a very good and experienced team that plays in Europe every year. The match is a new challenge for us. Cluj is a good team – and so are we. Players will have a whole new experience playing at this level, and it’s a really big game for all of us, both for the team and the entire club, KuPS head coach Arne Erlandsen pondered before the match.
“Shit in my pants”
KuPS traveled to Romania as early as Wednesday on a charter flight. The team’s 35-year-old veteran striker Ats Purje anticipates a match on Instagram with a twinkle in the corner of his eye. When KuPS’s sage major asked the Estonian what feelings he has during the match, the answer was awesome.
– Well, you know. Shit in my pants, let’s just say. That is, a big gang. I don’t think we have any mics, Sail grinned.
The attacker then burst into relentless laughter along with the interviewer. After the tear, Sail got serious and told how important the match really was.
– At the end of last season, I already told a few people that this would be such a new dream in their own career (after the Finnish championship).
If Purje’s dream comes true, KuPS would write Finnish football history. HJK is so far the only Finnish team that has advanced to the group stage of the Europa League.
– In one single match, everything is always possible. We have to do our best in the match, Erlandsen oath to believe.
The match starts at 6.30 pm Finnish time.
KuPS announced on Wednesday that television has been agreed with a national operator, but there are production problems at the Romanian end. The club expects television issues to be resolved no later than Thursday afternoon.
Source: KuPS website
If the Ats Sail interview does not appear on your device, you can watch it from here.