Apr 5, 2013, 10:05 AM
Gambian international Momodou Ceesay is the darling of Zilina football fans as his side hosts Chelsea in Champions League opener in Slovakia Wednesday.
This was due to a goal in both legs of their Champions League play-off versus Sparta Prague. The first involved a drilled shot, and the second an overhead kick that crashed in the post, which earned Zilina its position at the group stages of Europe's most competitive championship.
Zilina's 3-0 aggregate win over their Czech rivals has handed the Slovakian champions a tempting but difficult draw against Chelsea, Olympique Marseille and Spartak Moscow.
Zilina, according to goal.com, are the lowest-ranked team in the tournament and their squad has a lack of understanding of playing at the highest level of European competition. Their 2008-09 foray into the Europa League was thoroughly unsuccessful, although they managed to defeat Aston Villa in their final group match, and they will need to adjust quickly to the significant enhancement in standard if they are to avoid fulfilling their role as rank outsiders. With just two players in the roster aged 30 or over, the team in general lacks experience and leadership.
Zilina's excellent defensive record was a quality of their Slovak Superliga-winning season, with just 17 goals conquered in 33 league matches, and with a +42 goal difference to boot. Their greed will prove to be a valuable asset, and will unquestionably be put to the test against the likes of Didier Drogba, Loic Remy and Welliton.
On-loan Westerlo striker and Gambian international Momodou Ceesay who is currently a popular figure among followers of the Sosoni, after netting two stunning goals versus Sparta Prague, will look to replicate this standard of finishing in the tournament proper.
The 21-year-old Gambian previously spent a spell in Chelsea's youth team, and based on recent form the club will be desperate to retain his services beyond the current year-long loan from Belgium side Westerlo.
A victory over any of these superior clubs would truly be a memorable moment for Zilina.