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Rijeka Upset VfB Stuttgart in UEFA Europa League Qualifier

Croatian football club HNK Rijeka have caused an upset in front of 10,000 of its own fans by downing the more fancied German side Stuttgart 2:1 in the first leg of the Europa League qualifying rounds at Kantrida stadium on Thursday night.

Rijeka's impressive 'Armada' fans

Rijeka’s impressive ‘Armada’ fans

It looked as if Rijeka would take a vital 2:0 into the away leg in Stuttgart next week, but a late goal from Vedad Ibisevic put the Germans right back in the tie. Earlier in the second half Rijeka took a deserved 1:0 lead when Leon Benko headed in from a cross from the right. Rijeka’s lead was doubled when Zoran Kvrzic slotted in unmarked after Benko squared the ball back to him after a break on the right.

“I already said that the result doesnt interest me. It is undescribeable to see how the players played till the last second. I am very pleased to lead a club which the whole city stands behind,” said Rijeka’s coach Matjaz Kek after the match.

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