History! The Sturm are in the round of 16 of the Conference League

SK Sturm is in the 16th round of the Conference League. Promotion to the top 16 in the competition brings more sporting glory to the Cross people and brings €600,000 to the club's coffers; If they succeed, further income can follow. Things are going like clockwork so far for the people of Cross in 2024.

They achieved something historic against a club that is currently clearly at the top of the Slovakian Championship, the Sloven Bratislava, and has also shown international success so far. They gave it their all yesterday, but more on that later. The Sturm players can be rightly proud of themselves and showcase their skills in at least two games on the European stage.

Comment: Every international appearance should be seen as a reward, not a burden

You can find out who Cross faces in the Round of 16 in the draw in Neon today from 1pm. There are certainly well-known names on the list that Sturm could face as opponents: Aston Villa, FC Brugge, Fiorentina, Fenerbahce Istanbul, Lille, PAOK Thessaloniki, Viktoria Plzen or Maccabi Tel Aviv. Each of these teams has quality. The game dates are March 7 and 14.

Sturm worked hard for the promotion. In a 4-1 first leg win at Cross, the Cross team showed their playfulness, particularly in the second half, thus laying the foundation for promotion. Yesterday's second leg at the beautiful National Stadium in front of 19,870 spectators had to show their strength.

Bairat scored again

Sturm started the game without the recently injured Manprit Zakaria and Jusup Kasipegovic. Max Johnston and David Schneck came on in defence, Dimitri Lavallee was moved to midfield and Tommy Horvat had to be replaced. Cross had little access in the first 45 minutes. Nothing playful, they fought again. Johnston's (6th) shot was the only action until the break. Sturm had a lot to do in defense and the Sloven showed himself aggressively. Juraj Kuka's shot (27') hit the crossbar, and David Streleg's chance (45') was saved by Vitislav Jarosz.

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Whoever doesn't score gets it. That's what Sturm goaltender Mika Byreth thought. He scored in the 52nd minute to give the team a 1-0 lead. Again in the second half the Black and Whites improved and controlled the game better. It was easier to play because the target was behind. Bairat (61st) could have added a goal. So did Simon Wlodarczyk (69th), who came on for him. Horvat scored a goal, but it was ruled out for offside. On the other hand, the Slovaks never gave up, they had good chances and did not want to lose a second straight fight against Sturm. In stoppage time, Cesar Blackman was shown a red card after an emergency stop.

Sturm certainly didn't have their best game that evening. It was hard work and rewarding. But nothing more was needed that evening. Sturm is still at home in Europe.

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