Europa League Qualifiers: NK Rijeka Tops Aberdeen, Secures Playoff Round

Daniela Rogulj

August 15, 2019 – NK Rijeka and Aberdeen met in the return match of the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday evening in Scotland. 

It was not difficult for Rijeka to top Aberdeen once again in the return game of the third round of the Europa League qualifiers. The Croatian club celebrated 2:0 at Pittodrie Stadium, achieving a 4:0 aggregate over the Scottish club, reports

Thus, Rijeka has secured the Europa League playoff round where they will play Ghent, who defeated AEK Larnaca from Cyprus. Rijeka and Ghent will meet on August 22 in Belgium, followed by the return match in Rijeka on August 29. 

Igor Bišćan’s team had a much easier job than they expected in the qualifiers. After neutralizing the hosts’ initial aggression, they took the lead in the 10th minute after Aberdeen lost the ball and Rijeka went on the attack. Zoran Kvržić found the foot of Stjepan Lončar who put the ball in the back of the net for 1:0. At this point in the game, Aberdeen had to score four goals to move forward. 

Aberdeen showed their nervousness and lost concentration, which resulted in a double yellow for Funso Ojo in the 20th minute. Aberdeen played the rest of the match with a man down. 

All hope was lost for the Scottish side, which was further confirmed after Rijeka increased their lead in the 32nd minute thanks to a combination between Maxwell Acosty, Zoran Kvržić and Mirko Čolak.

Until the end of the first half, Rijeka routinely controlled the course of events, preventing Aberdeen from seriously threatening their goal. 

The second half was no different. Aberdeen pressured in the opening minutes of the second half, though Rijeka held their own and managed to go through the qualifiers without conceding a goal. 

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