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Alania Vladikavkaz will play in Europa League despite relegation from top division

Having defeated Rostov Rostov-on-Don in yesterday’s Russian Cup semifinal (0:0, 6:5 on penalties), Alania Vladikavkaz have not only won a place in the tournament’s final, but also the right to play in the Europa League this year.

In the final game of the Russian Cup Alania will be opposed by CSKA Moscow, who beat Spartak Moscow in a dramatic showdown also including a penalty shootout. However, the Red Army club have already secured themselves a European berth following the results of the past season, as they finished second in the Premier League and thus acquired the right to play in the 2011-12 Champions League.

This means that the Europa League admittance ticket, which is to be awarded to the winner of the Cup, should pass to Alania regardless of the outcome of the final game.

It will be the second case in the Russian football history when the country’s representative in the European cups is a team from the First Division (second tier of Russian football system). In 2004, the Russian Cup was won by Terek Grozny. In UEFA Cup the Chechen club have overcome Lech Poznan from Poland, but were the eliminated by the Swiss FC Basel.

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