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On the big stage

Charles Petro advances with Sheriff in Uefa Champions League qualifiers

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Malawi national football team and Sheriff Tiraspol defender, Charles Petro, has made history by becoming the second Malawian to compete in the world-claimed Uefa Champions League.

In a first qualifying round match of the competition’s 2020/2021 edition played on Wednesday night, Petro featured as a defensive midfielder to help the Moldovan side beat CS Fola Esch of Luxembourg 2-0.

The result means Sheriff have progressed to the second qualifying round with Esch being relegated to the Uefa Europa League second qualifying round.

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Former Flames striker Essau Kanyenda was the first Malawian to make an appearance in Europe’s elite club competition during his playing time in Russia.

Petro has achieved the feat in his first season at Sheriff after joining from Nyasa Big Bullets early this year.

Sheriff took the lead in the 36th minute through Anatole Bertrand Abang before Andrej Lukic sealed the win with the second goal nine minutes to full time.

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The former Bullets centre back said he enjoyed the experience of playing in the Champions League for the first time.

“The experience of playing in such a big competition was just out of this world. This is something that I have been dreaming about for a long time and it was exciting to finally achieve it.

“All I wanted was to go into the match and put up a good show. The journey continues and we are aiming high. Our next qualification match is on next week and we are focusing on it. We are eager to go all the way,” Petro said.

Uefa divided 34 teams from different member associations equally in seeded and unseeded categories in accordance with club coefficient rankings.

Sheriff were one of the three seeded teams in group two during a draw for the competition alongside Serbian side Crvena Zvezda and Sarajevo of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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