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UEFA Europa League Playoffs: Mixed Night For 3 Croatian Clubs

Hajduk Split took on Everton at Goodison Park (Photo: Hajduk.hr)

The three Croatian clubs involved in the UEFA Europa League playoffs will have their work cut for them after a disappointing night on Thursday in first leg action.

Dinamo Zagreb could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Albanian side Skenderbeu. Latifi opened the scoring in the 37th minute and could have been 2-0 up but had a legitimate goal disallowed for offside.

Dinamo dominated possession and had 13 shots on target to 5 but could not find a way through until the 95th minute when striker Angelo Henriquez headed home.

Meanwhile, at Gradski Vrt in eastern Croatia NK Osijek let a 1-0 lead slip to go down 2-1 to Austria Wien.

NK Osijek, who knocked out Dutch club PSV in the last round, started strong in front of 15,000 fans and took the lead through Ejupij in the 15th minute.

NK Osijek could have doubled their lead just 5 minutes later when they were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately, Barišić’s penalty hit the post. Austria Wien made the Croatians pay when they equalised in the 26th minute via Monschein.

Austria Wien would then seal the win when Holzhauser netted with half an hour remaining.

Hajduk Split perhaps has the most to do when the return legs are played next Thursday after going down to English Premier League club Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park.

Hajduk Split started the match nervously, whilst Everton, who were backing up from their Premier League season opener on the weekend, took their time to get into the match. Two lapses at the back saw Keane (30′), and Gueye (45′) give the Toffees a 2-0 halftime lead.

Hajduk came to life in the second spell and had a number of chances to reduce the lead but were kept at bay.

Despite having the better of the second spell Hajduk Split could not sneak an away goal and will have a tough task at Poljud stadium in Split next week as the match ended 2-0.

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