Vitoria and Hajduk met in the second leg of the Conference League 3rd-round qualifiers. Several thousand members of Hajduk fan group Torcida were in attendance.
Hajduk came to Dom Afonso Henriques stadium with a two-goal advantage after defeating Vitoria 3:1 in the first match at Poljud. Recall, the away goal rule is no longer in force.
“We have a plan that we want to implement. We have to have the same approach as in the home game. I am sure that Vitoria will play a different match than the one in Split; I believe that they are a better team than what they showed at Poljud,” said coach Valdas Dambrauskas before the match.
Vitoria Guimaraes: Varela, Miguel, Amaro, Mumin, Ogawa, Andre Almeida, Pains, Tiago Silva, Lameiras, Anderson, Antonin
Hajduk: Kalinić, Mikanović, Simić, Elez, Melnjak, Vuković, Grgić, Krovinović, Sahiti, Livaja, Čolina
Live match report
Vitoria had a dangerous free kick just outside the box in the 2nd minute, which was cleared by the Hajduk defense.
Just two minutes later, the worst-case scenario happened for Hajduk – Ogawa dribbled up the left wing and found Anderson alone at the top of the box. The Brazilian footballer brilliantly scored with his back to the goal, finding the upper right corner of Kalinic’s goal for 1:0 in the 5th minute.
Hajduk had their first attack of the match in the 11th minute when Grgic flew up the left wing but crossed into the Vitoria defense.
Hajduk played nervously when in possession and could not connect more than a few passes at a time. Vitoria’s pressure did not stop, and there were a few close calls in the next 10 minutes of play. Hajduk’s defense was tested.
Hajduk continued playing unsuccessful long balls from the back, and by the 22nd minute, Vitoria had 8 attacks compared to Hajduk’s 3.
Hajduk’s best chance of the match came in the 23rd minute – Sahiti received the ball in the midfield and played a flawless ball through the Vitoria defense to Colina, who was one-on-one with the Vitoria keeper. Colina chipped the keeper and just went over the goal post.
Hajduk, at least, had stabilized their play. Much better than what we saw in the first part of the match.
Another chance for Hajduk came in the 26th minute. Krovinovic crossed to Colina whose header went over the goal.
Anderson tried to surprise Kalinic by shooting from 30 meters in the 30th minute, but the Hajduk keeper defended without any problems.
Another close call for Hajduk came a few minutes later in front of Kalinic’s goal, but the ball luckily couldn’t reach Anderson in the box.
Colina sent the ball into the box in the 38th minute, which was cleared by the Vitoria defense.
Hajduk had another chance in the 44th minute, but Sahiti was called offside. The match erupted into a mini brawl after the Vitoria keeper forcefully picked Sahiti up from the pitch. Vukovic ran over in Sahiti’s defense, and Tiago Silva slapped Sahiti in the head, which the ref failed to see. There is no VAR in Conference League, and if there was, it could have easily been a red card for Silva. Instead, the ref gave Silva, Varela, and Vukovic yellow cards.
The match was 1:0 going into the half.
The second half started with one sub for Hajduk – Borevkovic came on for Simic, who has a yellow card.
Vitoria’s first chance came in the 46th minute, which was cleared out for a Vitoria throw-in.
Vitoria had a free kick in the 52nd minute, which fortunately went out for a goal kick. One minute later, Jota nutmegged Hajduk’s defense to find Anderson at the top of the box. His shot was blocked by Elez and went out for a corner.
Hajduk had a free kick in the 57th minute, which was cleared by the Vitoria defense, and the next play was a corner or Hajduk. Krovinovic crossed into the Vitoria keeper’s hands.
Elez blocked Anderson’s attempt a minute later, going out for a Vitoria corner, and was deflected out for another corner.
Colina was subbed off for Biuk in the 62nd minute.
Hajduk’s best chance of the second half came in the 69th minute – Biuk crossed into the box from the left wing, which was a second too quick for Livaja.
Hajduk had a quick counter in the 70th minute after a few dangerous Vitorira attacks.
Jota shot near post in the 72nd minute.
Dambrauskas decided to play defensively from the 73rd minute, adding an extra stopper. Awaziem came on for Sahiti.
Good news for Hajduk came in the 78th minute – Tiago Silva was shown his second yellow card and sent off, forcing Vitoria to play with a man down for the remainder of the match.
Krovinovic shot at the keeper in the 83rd minute and Jota had a chance for Vitoria in the next play.
Mikanovic and Vukovic were subbed off for Lovrencsics and Atanasov in the 86th minute.
Biuk had a shot on goal in the 88th minute but hit near post and was ultimately called offside. Four minutes of stoppage time were added. Vitoria had a corner in the final seconds, but could not score.
Hajduk thus advanced to the Conference League play-off against Villarreal!
Hajduk coach Valdas Dambrauskas said that they expected a tough game.
“We didn’t have the control we wanted in the first half; the second half was better. We are happy that we passed, but I am not the happiest coach because of how we played, but I am happy that we passed,” he said.
“We knew the match would be difficult. We have experienced players, but we don’t have an experienced team. This group of players is playing together in Europe for the first time. Vitoria is a good, young team.”
Villarreal is next
“This club has tradition, history, and great victories in the past. We don’t go to Spain to take pictures with Villarreal players and post them on Instagram. Let’s go there and compete; I believe we are not without chances.
Before that, Hajduk will face Dinamo.
“We are Hajduk; we are playing the biggest derby on Saturday. We have 23 players who are registered; I believe that every player will be looking forward to the next game. I think that now is a very good time to be a Hajduk player, first Dinamo, and then playing in Spain.”
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