Fulham set up clash with Crusaders

Fulham have set up a tie against Northern Irish side Crusaders in the Europa League qualifiers after progressing past Faroe Island part-timers NSI Runavik on Thursday night. The London club here held 0-0 in the away leg of the tie, but move to the next round after winning the first leg 3-0 at Craven Cottage.

Whilst most clubs are just getting back to pre-season training this week, Martin Jol’s side have had to start early in the pursuit of European football next season after qualifying through The Fair Play league.

The Cottagers sent a strong team to the Faroe Islands, however Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird did not travel and were replaced by Stephen Kelly and Philippe Senderos. Jonathan Greening deputised for Simon Davies on the left of midfield, whilst Steve Sidwell replaced Danny Murphy.

The second leg against the Faroese minnows was not one for the purist, but Damien Duff came the closest to breaking the deadlock by hitting the bar after five minutes. Strikers Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson had chances to give the English side victory, but were also both denied by home goalkeeper Andras Gango.

Fulham will now travel to Belfast in the first leg of the second round of qualifying next Thursday; Crusaders finished second in their domestic league last season.