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Friday 9 December 2016

What's next on list for the Lilywhites?

David McMillan. Photo: Sportsfile
David McMillan. Photo: Sportsfile

Dundalk stand on the brink of becoming the first League of Ireland club to qualify for the Champions League group stages after a shock 3-0 win over BATE Borisov. Here, The Herald plots the path ahead for a side already guaranteed Europa League football.

Why was beating Belarus' BATE Borisov such a big achievement?

Dundalk are the first League of Ireland side since Shelbourne in 2004 to reach the final round of qualifying for the Champions League.

They are also the first League of Ireland outfit to reach the Europa League since Shamrock Rovers in 2011.

What are the financial windfalls?

Dundalk had already secured over €1million by reaching the third qualifying round for the Champions League, but their 3-1 aggregate win over BATE has boosted that sum to over €7million.

Win the next two-legged tie and qualify for the Champions League proper, and the money on offer could leap as high as €30million.

Who could Dundalk meet next in the race for the Champions League?

The draw for the Champions League's final qualifying round takes place in Monaco tomorrow. Dundalk could even come up against Celtic, if the Scottish champions see off Kazakhstan's Astana.

The likes of Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiakos, Legia Warsaw and Red Bull Salzburg are all potential opponents for Dundalk too.

But the permutations for tomorrow's draw will be far clearer after the completion of all the third round qualifying ties on Wednesday night.

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