Historical Success! Rijeka Advances to Champions League Playoffs

Daniela Rogulj

Rijeka has advanced to the playoffs of the Champions League after a 0:0 draw against Red Bull Salzburg in Rijeka! Since the first-leg of the third round qualifying match ended 1:1 in Austria, a 0:0 result for Rijeka at home was enough to pull the Croatian club through to the playoff round.

Rijeka has secured a European autumn! Matjaž Kek’s team pulled a 0:0 draw against Red Bull Salzburg in Rijeka tonight, securing them a place in the Champions League playoffs, reports Goal.hr on August 2, 2017. 

Rijeka showed their quality in the first half of the match, but similar to the last game in Austria, Salzburg was the master of the pitch in the second. Rijeka also had the help of the Turkish officials during the match, and especially from the first assistant Mustafa Eyisoy who missed a call in the 54th minute – ultimately taking a clean goal away from Salzburg. Because the result ended 0:0, the Croatian champions have been sent to the next stage of the competition.

Rijeka now waits for their opponent in the Champions League playoff draw on Friday. If the club moves forward in the Champions League playoffs, they will play in the Champions League for the first time. In the case of a defeat, Rijeka will be rewarded with a place in the Europa League group stage.

The draw is scheduled for Friday at 12:00. Rijeka’s potential candidates are Olympiakos, Celtic, Copenhagen, APOEL and Maribor.

Rijeka (4-2-3-1): Sluga – Ristovski, Župarić, Elez, Vešović – Maleš, Bradarić – Kvržić (from 88. Heber), Mišić, Gorgon – Gavranović (from 74. Jelić).

Salzburg (4-3-1-2): Walke – Lainer, Miranda, Ćaleta Car, Ulmer – Berisha, Samassekou, Yabo (from 68. Haidara) – Minamino (from 82. Wolf) – Hwang, Dabbur (frm 74. Gulbrandsen).


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