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Eu Reds: FC Dinaburg

Continuing our mini-series of continental anniversaries in the countdown to Cliftonville’s imminent return to Europe, we’re turning the clock back 11 years to another memorable contribution on the UEFA stage.

For it was on this very day back in 2007 that a 1-1 draw with Latvian outfit FC Dinaburg set the platform for the first European success in the Club’s history.

A sodden Windsor Park played host to this InterToto Cup tie, which got off to the worst possible start when Jurijs Sokolovs fired the visitors in front before debut boy Kieran O’Connor pounced on a defensive error to smash his new side level.

Despite dominating the remainder of the tie and striking the woodwork through both Chris Scannell and Declan O’Hara, the Reds were unable to break down their 10-man opponents, who had Alexey Kostenko dismissed just before the hour.

The teams locked horns again at the Celtnieks Stadium in Daugavpils one week later, when an early Mark Holland header sealed victory and progression to a last-four clash with KAA Gent of Belgium.

Chris Scannell nets against Tiligul Tiraspol

And, as if that wasn’t enough Euro recollections to get you in the mood for next month’s newest chapter, today also marks 17 years since Cliftonville faced Tiligul Tiraspol in another InterToto date at Solitude.

On that occasion, an early Chris Scannell goal cancelled out the Moldovans’ first leg lead but red cards incurred by both Michael Collins and Pat Wall heightened the task en route to a 3-1 defeat in Extra Time.