Sheriff Tiraspol’s long road back to the Champions League group stage will begin in Bosnia-Herzegovina after Tuesday’s draw.
The Sheriff caused the big surprise by beating eventual champion Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium last September, after drawing the qualifying round. They had to leave behind the monarchs of Albania, Armenia, Serbia and Croatia for their debut in the group stage.
The Moldovan champions of 20 of the last 22 seasons will have to overcome four opponents to reach the 32-club elite and will have to go away when they start a tie against Zrinjski in Mostar.
The first leg will be played between July 6 and 7 and the second leg will be on July 12 or 13.
In addition, FC Tobol from Kazakhstan will meet Ferencváros from Hungary and Lech Poznan from Poland will face Qarabag from Azerbaijan. Ferencváros and Qarabag have intertwined in the group stage in the last five seasons.
Bodø/Glimt from Norway, who reached the Europa League quarter-finals in April, will meet KÍ from the Faroe Islands.
The 15 teams that lose in the first round of qualifying will advance to the qualifying stage of the Europa Conference League.