Foot­ball

Weekend Herald - - WHAT’S ON -

Europa League fi­nal, Thurs­day 6am.

Two Euro­pean heavy­weights meet in this sec­ond tier com­pe­ti­tion, with Ajax chas­ing their sec­ond such ti­tle and Manch­ester United their first and with it a ticket into next sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons League. Ajax won the 1992 Uefa Cup on the away goals rule in a fi­nal played over two legs. The first leg was drawn 2- 2 in Italy, the sec­ond 0- 0 in Am­s­ter­dam. For­mer Mel­bourne Heart and Mel­bourne City coach, and Dutch in­ter­na­tional John van’t Schip was a mem­ber of the Ajax team. In win­ning through to the knock­out rounds this sea­son, Ajax topped Celta Vigo by five points in Group G, while Manch­ester United were run­ners- up to Fener­bahce in Group A. Both teams were taken to ex­tra time in the sec­ond legs of their quar­ter- fi­nals against Schalke 04 and An­der­lecht re­spec­tively be­fore see­ing off Lyon and Celta Vigo in the semis. The fi­nal, the fourth meet­ing in Europe of the two clubs ( the se­ries is level at 2- 2) will be played in the Swedish cap­i­tal Stockholm at the Friends Arena, a 50,000- seat sta­dium boast­ing a re­tractable roof and opened in 2012.

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