RIJEKA CELEBRATE THEIR VICTORY OVER DIFFERDANGE
Slaven Belupo and NK Rijeka will join Hajduk Split in the Europa League third qualifying round.
Rijeka avenged a 1-0 first leg loss to Luxembourg club Differdange with an easy 3-0 win at the Kantrida Stadium Thursday night. Rijkea got goals from Tarik Cerić(20′), Anas Sharbini(24′) and Ahmad Sharbini(64′).
Although Rijeka got the job done and will progress to the next round, this result should worry them. A 3-0 win at home over a bunch of shopkeepers from Luxembourg is a disgrace; especially after losing to them in the first leg. Rijeka never put this game away and Differdange were only one goal away from an upset the majority of the match. Captain Ahmad Sharbini scored an insurance goal in the second half to put Rijeka through.
ANAS SHARBINI MISSILES THE BALL FOR RIJEKA’S SECOND GOAL
Rijeka will now play Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv in the next round with the home leg set for July 30th. The return leg will take place August 6th in Kharkiv.
If Rijeka plays anything like they did against Differdange, they will get crushed by the Ukrainians. I’d like to be optimistic and say that Rijeka can compete, but I can only see turmoil in the next round for them. I predict a 5-1 aggregate loss for Rijeka. Hopefully they will prove me wrong.
Unlike Rijeka, Slaven Belupo completey obliterated Macedonian side Milano Kumovo in their second leg fixture with an 8-2 victory; going through to the next round 12-2 on aggregate. Although the two-legged tie was over after the first match, as Slaven Belupo won 4-0, they kept the pressure on treating the match as a mere training session. Good for them!
Slaven Belupo will now take on Norwegians Tromsø in the next qualifying round. The first leg will take place July 30th in Norway with a return to Croatia on August 6th. Look for Belupo to make some noise in the next round as well.
Hajduk finally get their European season underway when they take on MŠK Žilina of Slovakia in the third qualifying round. The Poljud should be rockin’ when the teams travel to Split to play in the second leg on the 6th of August.