Turnovo lost 2:1 away to Hajduk in the 2nd qualifications round of the Europa League.
In front of an empty stadium due to Hajduk’s 1 match ban by UEFA for bad behaviour of its fans, Turnovo managed to get an active result and to keep a chance for advancing.
The game was hard to play due to the extreme conditions of the pitch, wondering how UEFA gave the Poljud stadium a permission to organize an international game. Hajduk took an early lead in the 8th minute when Marko Bencun used the confusion in Turnovo’s defense and scored with a header. later in the 15th minute Dejan Blazhevski had a great chance to score, but reacted very naively. He came alone against the home keeper, got first to the ball, made a move and than tried to act a foul which would mean a direct red card for keeper Lovre Kalinić as he was outside the box. Instead, Blazhevski got a yellow card for acting and missed a great opportunity to tie the score. Blazhevski eventually scored in the dying moments before the break from the penalty spot after Jean Evrard Kouassi played with hand in the box.
In the second half Hajduk pressed even more and had much of the possesion, but Turnovo defended good. The visitors even had two good scoring opportunities through their main firepower duo. Baldovaliev first headed a cross from the right straight into Kalinić’s hands and then Blazhevski showed his dribbling skills when he was one on one with a Hajduk defender but failed to shot precisely and his shot went wide of the goal. It was like this until the 79th minute when another confusion led to captain Mario Maloča scoring the game winning goal. In the last 10 minutes Turnovo dictated the game, but failed to make some serious scoring chance. On the other side though, Maglica had an excellent opportunity from inside the box but his low shot went just right of the post.
The 2:1 defeat means that the team that will advance in the 3rd round will be decided in the return leg next Tuesday in Skopje. It is interesting that this was Turnovo’s third penalty in its third Europa League game (2 against Sūduva in each game). All of them were succesfully converted by Dejan Blazhevski and all of the were scored in the injury time.
Poljud stadium in Split
Scorers: 8′ Marko Becun, 79′ Mario Maloča – 45’+1 Dejan Blazhevski
Hajduk: Kalinić; Mikanović, Maloča (c), Milić, Jozinović; Pašalić (62′ Maglica), Anđelković, Caktaš; Sušić, Kouassi (88′ Kiš), Bencun (36′ Mujan). Manager: Igor Tudor.
Turnovo: Dimovski (c); Stoilov (79′ Najdenov), Petrov (87′ Pandev), Mitrov (62′ Mutafchiyski), Tashev; Mitrev, Mavrov, Iliev, Blazhevski, Vasilev; Baldovaliev. Manager: Ali Güneş.
Yellow cards: Blazhevski, Mitrov (T)
Red cards: /
Referee: Richard Liesveld (Netherlands)
Assistants: Davie Goossens, Hessel Steegstra; Fourth official: Kamphuis Jochem (all Netherlands).