"Spartak" has won the Latvian championship last year and won the right for the first time to represent the country in the prestigious competition, which will begin the second qualifying round. Drew "red-white" against the champion of Kazakhstan in the last three years, "Astana".
Despite its youth (the club only formed in 2009), "Astana" managed to become the first in the history of Kazakhstan football team, which managed to reach the group stage of the Champions League. There in the 2015-16 season, "Astana" in competition with Lisbon's Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Istanbul Galatasaray drew at home with all the rivals and claimed to the last to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League. In the season 2016/17, "Astana" has played in the group stage of the Europa League against the Greek "Olympiacos", the Swiss "young boys" and Cypriot APOEL scored 5 points in six games.
The first match should take place in Astana on 11 or 12 July, the response to 18 or 19 July in Jurmala.
Football famous Kazakhstani specialist Vladimir Fomichev in conversation with Sports.kz expressed confidence that Astana should have no problems getting into the third round of the Champions League.
"We can say that the draw with "Astana" was lucky. I don't think that people would allow themselves not to pass such a rival. All the parameters of "Astana" definitely looks stronger than the Latvian club. All the way to the next round the Kazakh team I believe will solve already in the first match," — said Fomichev.