Gzira United v. Rijeka (0:2)
Rijeka opened the 2nd qualifying round tonight for Croatian clubs against Gzira United in Malta.
Gzira became known to the Croatian public a few years ago when they came back from a 0:2 Hajduk lead in the first match and celebrated 1:3 at Poljud in the return, sensationally knocking out the Split club in the first round of the Europa League qualifiers.
While the first half went without goals, Denis Busnja put Rijeka in the lead in the 57th minute and Prince Ampem increased it to 2:0 in the 77th minute for the Rijeka win. Lepinijca received a second yellow in the 87th minute and was sent off.
Hajduk v. Tobol
Hajduk and Tobol met at Poljud at 9 pm in front of over 11,000 spectators as fans returned to stadiums across the country. Tobol currently leads in the Kazakh championship after 19 rounds. They recorded 12 wins, six draws, and one defeat in the league. They have won the last three games, two of which were in the Kazakh Cup.
Hajduk, however, was the much better team in the first half, and a goal by wonderkid Marin Ljubicic put them in the lead in the 21st minute! Hajduk did not slow down in the second half, and another goal by Ljubicic increased Hajduk’s lead to 2:0 in the 53rd. Hajduk continued to attack and was unlucky on a few occasions not to get another goal. The match ended 2:0 for Hajduk.
Osijek v. Pogoń Szczecin
Osijek played away in Poland against Pogoń Szczecin, also from 9 pm. Pogon finished 3rd in the Polish championship last season. Croatian championship runners-up Osijek, however, opened the new season with a 3:0 win against Sibenik, cementing their talent from the start.
While Osijek had chances in the first half, especially Mierez, the match was 0:0 at halftime. Neither team was able to score in the second half and the match ended 0:0.
All teams will play the return match one week from today (July 29).
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