Everton to play MFK Ruzomberok in Europa League third qualifying round

Everton will take on Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok in the third round of qualifying for the Europa League following their shock win over SK Brann.

Ruzomberok were able to overturn a disappointing 1-0 aggregate defeat to the Norwegian side with a 2-0 win in Bergen on Thursday night through second half goals from Kristi Qose and Dominik Kruzliak.

Kruzliak, 21, converted from the penalty spot with 10 minutes left to play to secure Norbert Hrnčár’s men passage to the third round and a tie with Everton.

The Blues will host the first leg at Goodison Park on July 27th before travelling to Slovakia to play the return leg on August 3rd.

Whether or not Ronald Koeman’s side will be heading to Ruzomberok itself remains to be seen as the tie could be moved to either Bratislava or Žilina as Štadión pod Čebraťom, Ruzomberok’s home ground, only holds a capacity of 4,876.

Who are MFK Ruzomberok?

MFK Ruzomberok finished third in the Fortuna Liga last year, earning themselves a spot in the Europa League’s first round, where they beat FK Vojvodina of Serbia.

The Roses’ last appearance in Europe prior to this campaign was back in the 2006-07 Champions League, where they fell to Russian side CSKA Moscow during the third qualifying round following a 3-1 aggregate win against Djurgårdens IF of Sweden in the previous qualifying round.

Whilst Everton are likely to be heavy favourites to progress to the next round, Ruzomberok’s shock victory over Brann should eliminate an amount of complacency that may linger within the Blues side.

Should the Blues progress

The draw for the Play-Off round being made on August 4th, a day after the second leg against MFK Ruzomberok. The first leg of the Play-Off round is played on August 17th whilst the second leg would be played a week later on August 24th.

For Everton, this could mean playing Europa League games just as the Premier League begins and with the Blues tough start domestically, they can afford no slip ups in either competition if they’re looking to be successful this season.