Gibraltar's Lincoln FC made a small piece of UEFA Champions League history on Tuesday night as they became the first competitors from their league to make it past the first qualifying round of the competition after seeing off FC Santa Coloma.
Goals from Anthony Bardon and Lee Casciaro helped the Red Imps complete a second-half comeback after going behind in the 44th minute in Andorra la Vella, a result which gave Raul Procopio's charges their first win in European competition – the club debuted last season.
"I was over the moon to score the first and to qualify is incredible, all the work we have put in has paid off," said Bardon. "We will now continue to train and work hard to try and cause an upset in the next round."
It was a second historic goal of 2015 for Casciaro after he also scored Gibraltar's first competitive effort against Scotland at Hampden Park in March, and was delighted to have secured a second qualifying round tie with Danish champions FC Midtjylland.
"It is a dream come true for everyone in the Lincoln family and also for all the fans in Gibraltar," said the 33-year-old. "Getting a goal for the victory is always nice. "[Midtjylland] are a strong opponent but we have to enjoy the occasion and play to our strengths"
There was no prouder man in Andorra on Tuesday night than Lincoln coach Procopio, the Spaniard having masterminded a win following the 0-0 first-leg draw. "I'm overwhelmed. It is a massive feat to have made this piece of history for the club," he said. "I could never have imagined I could be as happy as I am now. It is definitely one of the best moments in my coaching career but I still feel there is more to come."
Looking ahead to the next round, Procopio feels his side have nothing to lose. "As always we shall approach the next game with respect for our opponent. These games are there for us to compete in. We will enjoy the occasion and hopefully represent the club proudly as we are a small modest club but with great ambition."
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