We said we'd pick a team in both major European club competitions and follow that thread through to the end. And at the first hurdle, both of our first choices bow out.
In the Europa League, we went for Jeunesse d'Esch, the Luxembourgeois side. Realistically, the tie was over after the first leg against Olimipija in Ljubljana. After a goalless first half, Djodje Ivelja put the home side in front and Brazilian substitute Franklin added two more late on for a 3-0 win. Any hope Jeunesse had of sneaking back into the game was snuffed out inside half an hour with Adnan Besic's goal and Sreten Stretenovic made it two before half time. Nik Omladic wrapped up a second 3-0 win and sent Olimpija through.
Elsewhere in the Europa League, the biggest name involved was FC Twente and they completed a routine 9-0 aggregate win over Andorrans Santa Coloma. 6-0 up from the first leg, they were home and hosed. Other notable results were the 12-0 aggregate win for Elfsborg against Floriana and the 10-0 win for Gomel over Vikingur. Finnish side JJK held on against a major fightback from Stabaek before winning 4-3 on aggregate and a late goal from Rafael Ledesma ensured Suduva if Lithuania progressed at the expense of Daugava Daugaspils from neighbouring Latvia on away goals. After winning 5-2 in the first leg, FK Slovenia were all but there, but played out a 4-4 draw in the return against the Maltese version of Hibernian, Radan Sunjarevic with a last-minute equaliser. Kalmar overturned a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to beat Cliftonville 4-1, Icelanders IBV did likewise to St Patrick's, requiring extra-time before prevailing 2-1 and after draws at home in the first game, Cefn Druids, Bangor City and Bohemians were all well beaten away from home.
There were only three ties in the Champions League first round, and we were on the B36 Torshavn horse. After a 0-0 in Belfast against Linfield, it was all back to the Faroes. Again, it was 0-0 and extra-time couldn't find a winner either, so it was to penalties. Immediately, B36 handed the inititive to the visitors as Klaemint Matras missed the first spot-kick. With the next seven penalties all successful, Polish striker Lukasz Cieslewicz had to score to keep B36 in it, but missed and sent Linfield through.
The other ties were over after the first games. F91 Dudelange were 7-0 up on Tre Penne and won the second leg 4-0 to complete a huge win. Valetta were 8-0 up on Valletta, but only added one more in the return, an early strike from Brazilian attacker Jhonnattann.
So we say goodbye to Jeunesse d'Esch and B36 Torshavn. Your stays with us were short. For round 2, we're on the shoulders of Linfield in the Champions League as they take on AEL Limassol. In the Europa League, we're shouting for Olimpija who take on Tromsø. Here's to better luck this time.