Inverness Caledonian Thistle will make their first appearance in European football tonight as they welcome Romanians Astra Giurgiu to the Highlands.
The 2014/15 William Hill Scottish Cup winners can find inspiration in the performances of their fellow Scottish clubs, who have a tradition of upsetting the odds on their European debuts.
Here are 11 times Scottish clubs made Europe sit up and take notice at first attempt:
ABERDEEN…put 10 past KR Reykjavik
The Dons didn’t waste any time in making an impact on the European stage, beating KR Reykjavik 10-0 and 4-1 in Round 1 of the 1967-68 Cup Winners’ Cup. Francis Munro managed to score a hat-trick in the first leg rout, which remains a club record in European competition.
DUNDEE…reach a European Cup Semi-final
Dundee entered the 1962-63 European Cup as champions of Scotland and quickly showed their prowess with a convincing 8-1 win over FC Koln in the Preliminary Round. There followed a remarkable run which saw the Dees beat Sporting Lisbon and Anderlecht to reach a historic semi-final against AC Milan. Despite a 5-2 aggregate defeat it remains one of the club’s greatest ever achievements.
DUNDEE UNITED…beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp
United’s European bow came in the 1966-67 Inter-Cities Fair Cup against holders Barcelona. Despite the daunting task ahead of them, United won both legs – defeating their illustrious opponents 4-1 on aggregate, including a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp (a scoreline they’d go on to repeat 20 years later).
DUNFERMLINE…reach Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals
Scottish Cup champions Dunfermline entered the 1961/62 Cup Winners’ Cup and went on to record impressive victories against St Patrick's Athletic (8-1 on agg) and FK Vardar (5-2 on agg). The Pars fell to Hungarians Ujpesti in the Quarters but would go on to reach the semi-finals of the competition in 1969.
HIBERNIAN…make Scottish football history
Hibernian became the first British club to enter European competition when they played in the 1955-56 European Cup. Inspired by the Famous Five of Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond – Hibs seen off Essen and Djurgardens IF to reach a semi-final showdown with French champions Stade Reims. Despite falling to a 3-0 aggregate defeat, the Edinburgh side can be content with their place in the history books.
KILMARNOCK…turn it around vs. Frankfurt
Killie’s first European adventure looked to be over before it had begun when they suffered a 3-0 first leg defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1964 Inter-Cities Fair Cup. Things went from bad to worse in the return leg when Eintracht scored to make it 4-0 on aggregate to the Germans. What followed remains one of the club’s most historic moments as they battled back to win 5-1 in front of a jubilant Rugby Park. It’s still talked about to this day in Ayrshire!
LIVINGSTON…battle valiantly against Sturm Graz
Livingston’s first and only European campaign to date started with a UEFA Cup victory over FC Vaduz before a First Round trip to Austria’s Sturm Graz. A 5-2 defeat at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium set up a second leg thriller at Almondvale where Livi managed to record a 4-3 victory. Not enough to go through but a credible European debut from the West Lothian team.
PARTICK THISTLE…enter Europe with a win
Thistle’s third place finish in the league granted them entry to the 1963/64 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and their first trip to the continent. A comfortable 7-1 aggregate win over Glentoran in the First Round set them up for a showdown with Czech side Spartak Brno. A 3-2 win at Firhill gave the home side hope but Brno proved too strong in the end – winning 4-0 in the return tie.
RAITH ROVERS…take the lead at Bayern
A win over Celtic in the League Cup final granted Raith Rovers their first ever European adventure in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup. The campaign started well with wins over Faroe Islander’s GI Gota and IA of Iceland, before a glamour Second Round tie against German giants Bayern Munich. Despite losing 2-0 in the home tie at Easter Road, a shock comeback looked to be on in the return leg when Raith took a 1-0 lead at the Olympic Stadium. Second-half goals from Jurgen Klinsmann and Markus Babbel killed the tie but Raith had done themselves – and Scottish football – proud.
ST JOHNSTONE…beat Hamburg in first Euro tie
After a third place finish in the league, St Johnstone entered the 1971/72 UEFA Cup and were handed a nightmare first round tie vs. Hamburg. A narrow 2-1 defeat in Germany gave the Saints hope before a famous 3-0 victory in Perth sealed their place in the next round. A second round win over Vasas of Hungary followed before a third round exit at the hands of Seljeznicar.
ST MIRREN…victorious in Sweden
The buddies’ first ever European tie saw them defeat IF Elfsborg 2-1 in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup. A 0-0 draw at Love Street meant St Mirren advanced to the Second Round for a tie against Saint-Etienne – runners-up in the European Cup just 4 years previously. St Mirren’s defence held tight in the first leg to record a goalless draw but were defeated 2-0 in France.
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