Extra Champions League ticket Netherlands not yet in after Sporting stunt

Extra Champions League ticket Netherlands not yet in after Sporting stunt

NOS Football

Dutch soccer fans were hoping for a celebration Thursday night: if Sporting CP were eliminated by Arsenal in the Europa League, the Netherlands would be assured of two direct tickets to the Champions League from the 2024/2025 season onwards, based on the UEFA coefficient list.

But things turned out differently: Sporting stunted in London by eliminating Arsenal after taking penalty kicks and advancing to the quarter-finals.

The extra ticket is not yet certain, but there is still plenty of chance for the Netherlands. Then Feyenoord and AZ should continue to do well in Europe, and the remaining Portuguese clubs Sporting and Benfica should not.

Shot from 42 meters

Things looked good for Holland for quite some time: Arsenal, after the 2-2 in Lisbon, took the lead in the 19th minute through a goal by Granit Xhaka.

But after an hour, the Portuguese equalized through a great distance shot from no less than 42 meters by Pedro Gonçalves.

Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) looks to thumb a long nose at Portuguese fans after his goal against Sporting CP

After that goal, Arsenal lost track for a while and a second goal from Sporting hung in the air. But it remained 1-1 and an extension and a penalty shootout followed.

Jeremiah St. Juste shot the first penalty convincingly and his teammates did not fail either. Gabriel Martinelli was the only one to miss on behalf of Arsenal.

Much-discussed coefficient list

UEFA’s much-discussed coefficient list distributes tickets for European soccer among all countries based on the performance of clubs over the past five years.

The top four countries on the coefficient list (currently England, Spain, Germany and Italy) receive four tickets to the Champions League. The number five and six account for two tickets plus one for the preliminary round.

The Netherlands is now sixth on that list, but number seven Portugal could theoretically pass that this season.

Watch an explanation video on the coefficient issue (from December 2021).

More Dutch clubs in the Champions League? The coefficients explained

Kayleigh Williams