A goal in each half condemn Gzira to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hajduk Split

Gzira conceded a goal in each half as they were defeated 2-0 by Hajduk Split of Croatia.

Photo: Christine Borg
Photo: Christine Borg

Gzira kicked off their commitments in the UEFA Europa League with a difficult encounter against Hajduk Split of Croatia.

The Maroons sealed their place inside this competition after finishing third in the Premier League. On the other end, Hajduk Split finished fourth in the Croatian Premier League.

Giovanni Tedesco’s side had a positive first half as they managed to match their opponents through-out the majority of the time. However, a late penalty converted by Adam Gyurcso in the latter stages of the half gave the visitors the advantage.

Gzira created the first opportunity of the match on the 23rd minute. Following a cross from the right by Zachary Scerri, Ridwaru Adeyemo headed the ball marginally over.

Hajduk hit back on the 38th minute. Bassel Jradi squared the ball towards Gyursco and the latter fired a shot from inside the penalty area that went high.

Moments later, Stank Juric sent a diagonal volley from the right that ended up centimetres off target.

As time went by, Hajduk increased their efforts and forged ahead two minutes from half-time. Gyurcso’s shot was handled inside the penalty area by Adeyemo and the referee pointed towards the spot. Gyurcso stepped up to take charge of the spot kick. The initial shot was saved by Justin Haber with the help of the woodwork; however, Gyurcso took the rebound and placed the ball inside an open goal.

Gzira made a good start to the second half and lost a golden opportunity to equalise on the 49th minute. Hamed Kone found himself face to face with the opposing goalkeeper, but was denied by Tomislav Duka who managed to block his effort.

The Maroons had a goal disallowed on the 74th minute. Juan Carbolan played Fernando Barbosa through and the Brazilian drilled a low shot past Duka. However, the assistant referee raised his flag for an offside and ruled out the goal.

Hajduk doubled their advantage deep into the stoppage time. Following a fast counter, Ivan Dolcek managed to beat Haber with a diagonal shot.

Gzira will now have a mountain to climb as they will need to overturn this result if they are to stand any chance of qualifying to the next round.

Gzira united starting line-up: Justin Haber, Fernando Barbosa, Gianmarco Conti (Andrew Cohen-72), Nikolai Muscat (Sacha Borg-83), Zachary Scerri, Rodolfo Suares, Juan Corbalan, Hamed Kone, Ridwaru Adeyemo (Elvis Sakyi-61), Arthur Henrique, Jefferson De Assis

Hajduk Split starting line-up: Tomislav Duka, Barry Hamza, Darko Nejasmic, Adam Gyrusco (Francesco Dahiraj-67), Oleksandr Svatok (Stefan Simic-75), Ivan Elic, Jairo, Stank Juric, Domagoj Bradaric (Ivan Dolcek- 61), Ardian Ismajli, Bassel Jradi

Referee: Gal Leibovitz (Israel)

Assistant Referees: Tom Adi, Moshe Bohbot

Fourth Official: Shalom Ben Avraham

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