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    Raków Częstochowa Edges Karabakh Agdam in Thrilling UEFA Champions League Clash

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Raków Częstochowa triumphed in a thrilling encounter against ten-time Azerbaijani champions Karabakh Agdam in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round. German debutant Sonny Kittel scored the decisive goal in injury time, clinching a 3-2 win for the Polish side.

    In recent years, Polish teams have struggled against Karabakh Agdam, including Wisła Kraków, Piast Gliwice, Legia Warszawa, and Lech Poznań. Despite Lech Poznań’s 1-0 home victory last season, they suffered a 1-5 defeat away.

    The match saw an intense and evenly-matched first half, with both teams playing aggressively and creating goal-scoring opportunities. The visitors were close to scoring first, with Yessine Benzia hitting over the crossbar and Leandro Andrade hitting the post. Raków’s Łukasz Zwoliński also came close.

    After the break, the visitors dominated but fell victim to Raków’s excellent counter-attack, resulting in an own goal from Elvin Cafarqulijew. Raków extended their lead to 2-0 through Fabian Piasecki, but Karabakh quickly bounced back, equalizing with goals from Redon Xhixha and Hamidou Keyta.

    In the dying moments, Kittel’s long-range strike secured the victory for Raków. The second leg will take place in Baku on August 2nd, with the winner advancing to the third qualifying round to face the winner of Aris Limasol (Cyprus) vs. BATE Borisov (Belarus). The losing team will move to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League against the lesser team from HJK Helsinki (Finland) vs. Molde FK (Norway).

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