First leg score: Rīga FC 1-1 Gil Vicente
After last week’s draw at Skonto stadions, this one is more finely poised than many would’ve anticipated.
Seven nights ago, Rīga took a shock lead through Douglas Aurélio, but they couldn’t hold onto it; Juan Manuel Boselli equalising in the second half.
As the two meet again at Estádio Cidade de Barcelos, it’s winner takes all.
Gil Vincente were overwhelming favourites to progress when the draw was made and, having drawn in Latvia, this is still pretty much the case.
The Roosters finished fifth in Portugal last season, thereby qualifying for UEFA competition for the very first time.
Thus, Ivo Vieira’s side will be determined to avoid a shock exit on this historic night.
Rīga FC meantime were only founded eight years ago but have already won three Virslīga titles.
In Europe, they reached the play-off round in both 2019 and 2021 before being beaten by København and Lincoln Red Imps.
This season, having dumped out Derry City and Ružomberok, they’ll believe a shock win in Northern Portugal is possible.
Whoever does win in Barcelos will meet AZ or Dundee United in the Europa Conference League play-off round.