July 18, 2019 – Hajduk Split and Gzira United met in the second leg of the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday night at Poljud Stadium in Split.
After Hajduk won 0:2 against Gzira United in Ta’Qali, Malta for the first leg of their Europa League qualifications, the two teams met again one week later in the sunny city of Split.
Hajduk featured a different lineup than the game in Malta, and instead came out with Duka, Lopez, Barry, Svatok, Beširović, Delić, Jairo, Bašić, Dolček, Tahiraj, and Jradi for the starting 11.
While Hajduk fans don’t need much reason to make the trip to Poljud, because it was their first home game of the new season, almost 20,000 spectators were expected to fill the stadium – and over 14,000 tickets were sold by 2 pm on game day! The final attendance was 18,326.
The game began at 8 pm and Hajduk came out with momentum. It didn’t take long for the Split club to thank their fans for the support after Jradi scored for 1:0 in the 7th minute!
Gzira was not able to do much against Hajduk in the first 20 minutes and had their first shot on goal only then. Hajduk, however, found ways into the box and had a few chances which hit just wide of the goal.
In the 29th minute, Hajduk had another golden opportunity from a free-kick outside the penalty area, which Lopez made difficult for the Gzira goalkeeper. Delić hit just over the crossbar moments later. The first half ended 1:0 for Hajduk.
Gzira seemed to pick up the pace at the start of the second half, though they were unable to capitalize on their few chances. Hajduk’s first real chance of the second half was from Tahiraj, though he shanked his shot far from the goal.
But Gzira’s momentum carried them past the Hajduk defense to equalize in the 57th minute. Jefferson scored for 1:1.
Hajduk had a chance to retake the lead in the 59th minute, but a deflection resulted in a corner instead. Delić had a chance minutes later, but hit wide again – and just minutes after that, Juranović hit the post!
In the 67th minute, the Gzira goalkeeper denied Hajduk another opportunity in front of the goal, and it was Gzira to capitalize just two minutes later when Kone scored for 1:2.
Delić once again had the chance to save the day after a brilliant Jurić attack but took one touch too many. Hajduk was pressing but failing to make any gains.
Six minutes of extra time were added and the game took a nasty turn. Gzira scored in the final 30 seconds for 1:3. With this loss, Hajduk is out of Europa League.
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.