Thursday, January 15, 2009

No. 190: Olimpik Baku (Azerbaijan)

The Pilots as they are known are a relatively new team as the club was just founded in 1996. Olimpik Baku earned its first UEFA Cup spot last year, and came very close to winning its first tie.

Vojvodina Novi Sa of Serbia knocked the Pilots out in the first qualifying round by a 2-1 aggregate score. Vojvodina won the opening leg at home 1-0, and the teams played to a 1-1 draw in Azerbaijan.

Exactly halfway through the Azerbaijan Premier League season, which is the 41st best league in Europe according to UEFA, Olimpik have some work to do to get back into Europe. The club sits in sixth place, three points behind Simurq Zaqatala for third place and the final UEFA Cup spot. Olimpik are six points behind leaders Inter Baku, last year's champion.

Olimpik are in the final eight of the domestic cup, which will also grant a place to the winner.

Moldova defender Serghei Lascencov, who has 26 caps for his country, is one of the Pilots best players. Olimpik has a few players who player for the Azerbaijan national team, including forward Leandro Gomes, who came on as a substitute in Azerbaijan's 0-0 draw with Liechtenstein. That's the only point Azerbaijan has from three World Cup qualifying games.

No comments: