Hajduk Impresses at Sold out Poljud with 3:1 Win against Vitoria!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Photo: Miroslav Lelas/PIXSELL
Photo: Miroslav Lelas/PIXSELL

Hajduk kicked off their European season tonight at Poljud in the 3rd qualifying round of the Conference League against Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes. 

The match was refereed by Swede Mohammed Al-Hakim. 

If Hajduk manages to advance past Vitoria in two games, their opponent in the Conference League play-off will be Spanish club Villarreal, who won the Europa League last year and reached the Champions League semi-finals this year.


Hajdkuk Kalinić, Mikanović, Simić, Elez, Melnjak, Vuković, Grgić, Krovinović, Sahiti, Biuk, Livaja

Vitoria: Varela, Ogawa, Villanueva, Mumin, Miguel, Thiago Silva, Alfa Semedo, Andre Almeida, Da Luz, Lameiras, Andre Silva

Match report

Hajduk had their first corner of the match already in the 2nd minute, which came to the top of the box and found Livaja. Livaja crossed the ball back in, but it went out for a goal kick. 

The match was back and forth for the next five minutes; both teams held their play at the midfield line. 

Livaja’s fancy footwork had Poljud shaking in the 9th minute when he danced around the Vitoria defense and forced a free kick. Unfortunately, the ball into the box was unsuccessful. 

Grgic had the first shot of the match in the next play. Sahiti’s skill also impressed in the minute that followed, and Vitoria’s defense was weak at clearing the ball from the back. 

Hajduk had another chance from a great attacking play a minute later. Elez found Livaja in the midfield and onto Krovinovic, who played down the right wing to Sahiti. Vitoria had a dangerous play next, but Hajduk’s defense was certain to clear the ball out. The first yellow card of the match was given to Vitoria in the 12th minute. 

Mikanovic played another ball into the box two minutes later, which was cleared by Vitoria’s defense. Vitoria was definitely playing more nervously than Hajduk, who was hungry to attack. 

Hajduk was awarded their second corner in the 17th minute, which was saved by goalkeeper Bruno Varela. 

Krovinovic was given a yellow card in the 22nd minute. 

Vitoria had their first corner in the 24th minute, which was headed out by Livaja. Vitoria’s second corner came not even a minute later, and another one after that, which was punched out by Kalinic. 

Hajduk’s best chance came in the 27th minute. A quick counter found Biuk, who played through to Sahiti on the opposite side of the pitch. Sahiti was one second too slow to get a shot off. 

The next five minutes were back and forth with no real chances. Livaja was found on the left wing in the 34th minute, which went out for a corner. Melnjak shot from 40 meters out and over the crossbar a minute later. 

A questionable missed call by the ref resulted in a free kick for Vitoria, which Hajduk’s defense ultimately cleared for a quick counter. Hajduk called for a handball in the box in the following play, but the ref said to play on. The replay showed that it hit the Vitoria player’s leg first and then into the arm, which is not a penalty. 

Hajduk continued to attack in the remaining five minutes of the half and was easily intercepting Vitoria’s as they tried to move the ball up the pitch. 

Three minutes of stoppage time were added to the first half. Livaja immediately had a one-on-one chance with the keeper, which he hit out for a corner. 

The match went into halftime without any goals – 0:0. 

The second half started without any changes for Hajduk, but Vitoria subbed on Daniel Silva for Almeida. 

Hajduk pressed into Vitoria’s half for the first five minutes, but Vitoria had a close encounter in the 52nd minute. Fortunately, the ball went out for a free kick. 

Biuk put a fantastic move on the Vitoria defense and shot at the keeper in the 55th minute. 

Hajduk had a series of chances in the 56th minute but couldn’t find the back of the net. Vukovic missed the far post in the next play, too. 

Hajduk was playing brilliantly in the next few minutes, with Vitoria’s defense just barely stopping their momentum. However, a quick Vitoria attack was all they needed to catch Hajduk’s defense off guard. There was a fast play up the right wing and around Melnjak and Vukovic. Miguel got the shot off and found the upper left corner of the goal past Kalinic for the Vitoria lead. 

But it didn’t take long for Hakduk to equalize. Livaja took a shot in the box, which bounced off the far post and right to Sahiti, who scored for 1:1 in the 67th minute!

Atanasov was subbed on for Vukovic two minutes later. 

And Hajduk didn’t stop there. Elez sent a long ball from the back in the 75th minute, finding Melnjak in front of the goal for 2:1 Hajduk! Poljud had never been louder. 

Colina was subbed on for Sahiti and Lovrencsics for Mikanovic a minute later. Josip Elez was subbed off for Chidozie Awaziem, making his Hajduk debut in the 81st minute.

Hajduk was awarded a corner in the minute that followed, which was cleared out by the Vitoria defense. Livaja was unsuccessful with a free kick in the 86th minute. 

But that didn’t matter. Filip Krovinović settled all doubts of the winner at Poljud tonight, nailing a rocket near post for 3:1 Hajduk in the 87th minute! 

The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time, in which neither team scored. The final result was 3:1 for Hajduk. 

The second leg is scheduled for August 10 in Portugal.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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