Sheriff Tiraspol don’t have a country but still won first Champions League game

Sheriff Tiraspol made Champions League history on Wednesday evening when the Wasps defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 as the first Moldovan side to play in the group stages of the competition.

Yet there remains an issue – the city of Tiraspol does not recognise Moldova as its nation despite still competing in the Divizia Nationala.

Instead, citizens of the city would argue it's the capital of Transnistria having broken away as its own state following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But for the purposes of football, UEFA, and the wider international community, Sheriff Tiraspol will compete under the flag of Moldova with Transnistria still an unrecognised breakaway state.

Therefore Wednesday evening's fixture is seen as the first time a 'Moldovan' side has reached the group stages of Europe's most elite competition.

Sheriff Tiraspol have twice made the play-off rounds in 2010 and 2011 but lost out on aggregate to Olympiacos and then FC Basel the following year.

This season the club from Transnistria went one better, beating Dynamo Zagreb 3-0 to reach the Champions League group stages, for the first time in their history.

Are you excited to watch Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League this season? Let us know in the comments section.

And on their debut outing, the Wasps showed they aren't just here to make up the numbers.

A 2-0 win in their opening match got them off to the perfect start but their remaining fixtures present an even tougher challenge.

Tiraspol will face 13-time winners Real Madrid, two-time champions Inter Milan and the reverse fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk before Christmas to try and qualify from Group D.

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