FIFA World Cup 2014
Premier League 2013/14
Dila Gori will face Rapid Wien
The undefeated Dila Gori will face the Austrian Rapid Wien for the Europe League Play Offs.
The official draw for the Europe League Play Offs was made and the Georgian side Dila Gori known the last rival to eliminate to deserve the chance to play in the Group Stage.
The Georgian side has passed a difficult path to become the surprise of the tournament so far, in the Second Qualifying Round Dila managed to beat 3-0 on aggregate the Danish team AaB Aalborg, and in the Third Qualifying Round the Georgians eliminated the Croatian Hajduk Split coached by Igor Tudor.
Rapid Wien began the season from the Third Qualifying Round where they faced the Greek side Asteras Tripolis. The Austrian team draw away 1-1 and won in Vienna by 3-1.
Certainly Rapid Wien is a stronger team than AaB Aalborg and Hajduk Split, but due to the football quality Dila Gori may have a nice chance to fight strong and make another serious impact in this European campaign.
The first match will be played in the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium, in Vienna, on 22th August. And the returning leg will be in the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, in Tbilisi, on 29th August.
Georgian Teams vs. Austrian Teams
This is the first time Dila Gori will face an Austrian side, but not the first time that two teams from this countries are going to clash between each other.
For the Champions League 2011-12 Georgian FC Zestafoni was eliminated by Sturm Graz 2-1 on aggregate. The Imeretian side drawn at home 1-1 and was defeated in Austria by the minimal difference.
In the deceased UEFA Cup’s Winners Cup 1981-82 Dinamo Tbilisi managed to eliminate the Austrian Grazer AK. The former European title winner, Dinamo Tbilisi, obtained a victory at home by 2-0 and a draw away 2-2.
In another lost UEFA tournament, in the Intertoto Cup 1997 Georgian Merani Tbilisi achieved the only victory away in Austria beating SV Ried by 1-3 in the Group Stage. In the edition of 2003, WIT Georgia played against SV Pasching. The veterinaries team lost away 1-0 and won in Tbilisi 2-1, but wasn’t enough to pass thru. Also Dinamo Tbilisi faced in the year 2006, for the same tournament, the Austrian SV Ried. Georgians lost both, 3-1 away and 0-1 at home.
For the UEFA Cup / Europa League, the matches have been though. In the 1994-95 campaign Dinamo Tbilisi beat at home 1-0 the Austrian Tirol Innsbruck, but struggled away by 5-1. In the 2007-08 campaign again Dinamo Tbilisi had to face the upcoming Dila Gori’s rival, the result was humiliating, Rapid Wien won in Tbilisi 0-3 and in Austria 5-0.
One year later, in the 2008-09 campaign WIT Georgia had to play against Austria Wien. The first match in Tbilisi was suspended due to irregular military situation, the only match played in Austria finished with a host victory by 2-0. And the last confrontation between these countries was in 2010-2011, Dinamo Tbilisi lost away 2-0 to Sturm Graz and managed a draw at home 1-1 not enough to pass thru.
Recently the Austrian teams have eliminated the Georgian teams every single time they face each other, and the only victory in official tournaments of the history obtained by a Georgian side in Austria was by Merani Tbilisi against SV Ried for the Intertoto Cup 1997.
The balance is negative for Georgia, but this year’s Dila Gori’s presented football gives hopes to the fans to manage to celebrate the access to the Group Stage of one prestigious European Tournament.