Thursday, 26 August 2021

No Conference League for Rijeka this Season as PAOK Wins at Rujevica

August 26, 2021 - There will be no Conference League for Rijeka this season as PAOK wins at Rujevica (0:2) on Thursday. 

Rijeka welcomed the Greek club PAOK at Rujevica Stadium on Thursday in the return match of the Conference League playoffs. 

Unfortunately, Rijeka could not overcome PAOK at Rujevica and was left without a place in the Conference League group stage. Goran Tomić's side failed to get ahead after the first match ended 1:1. PAOK was better tonight with goals by Omar El Kaddouri and Thomas Murg.

PAOK furiously entered the game, dominated, and already in the sixth minute, it was clear that Rijeka had a tough match ahead. PAOK hit the post twice. First, Schwab shook the goalpost with a long-range shot before El Kaddouri hit the crossbar.

However, El Kaddouri made up for his miss in the 11th minute. Schwab found the Moroccan who took advantage of a sleepy Rijeka defense to make it 0:1. 

Rijeka started to wake up in the middle of the first half, and in the 32nd minute, they had their first good attempt. Drmić found Abass, who shot from 20 meters. Five minutes later, Abass found Tomečak, who missed a great opportunity.

The post again saved Rijeka in the 41st minute after El Kaddouri tried to increase PAOK's lead. 

Rijeka started to settle in the second half, and PAOK was no longer as dangerous as in the first, but Rijeka still struggled to create opportunities. Selahi had a solid attempt from a distance in the 55th minute, and Tomečak's shot in the 68th minute was blocked. 

As the game drew to a close, Rijeka tried to be more and more offensive, and their concentration in defense dropped. Escoval easily lost the ball in the danger zone in the 80th minute; Kagawa passed to Murg, who calmly pushed it past the helpless Prskalo to seal their fate at 0:2. 

Croatia will thus remain with one representative in European club competitions this season. Dinamo will play in the Europa League, and Rijeka failed to qualify for the Conference League group stage. 

Source: Index.hr

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Thursday, 19 August 2021

Europa Conference League Play-Offs: Rijeka and PAOK Finish 1:1 in Match 1

August 19, 2021 - Rijeka and PAOK drew in the first match of the UEFA Europa Conference League play-offs on Thursday in Thessaloniki. 

A hard-fought battle saw Rijeka draw against PAOK (1:1) in Thessaloniki in the first match of the Conference League play-offs.

Lepinjica scored for the Rijeka lead in the 33rd minute with a precise and powerful shot from more than 20 meters. PAOK, however, equalized thanks to a Galešić own goal in the fourth minute of added time, bringing the match to an even score. 

Rijeka was without several key players in this match, including Murić, Labrović, Drmić, Smolčić, and Selahi, who were injured. Stanić did not have the right to play either, because he has already played for Široki Brijeg in Europe this season. Stanić, however, can play for Rijeka in this season's Conference League only if they advance to the group stage of the competition. 

The exciting match saw a shocking ending. After PAOK created many opportunities, they only scored in the final minutes from a penalty (90+4), disappointing Rijeka who was on the verge of a great victory. Galešić sent the ball into his own net after a corner, which was also the last chance for the Greek club to equalize.

The return match at Rujevica Stadium in Rijeka will be played in seven days (August 26, when the Croatian club will look for a chance to play in Europe this autumn. If Rijeka fails to beat PAOK in front of their fans, they will thus fail to qualify for the group stage of the Conference League this season. 

Recall, the only other Croatian club with a chance to play in a European competition this autumn is Dinamo, who lost 3:0 to Sheriff on Tuesday. 

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Thursday, 12 August 2021

Europa Conference League: Rijeka Tops Hibernian for Playoffs Spot, Osijek Eliminated

August 12, 2021 - In the UEFA Europa Conference League 3rd qualifying round, Rijeka tops Hibernian to move to the playoffs, while Osijek and CSKA draw to knock the Croatian club out of the competition. 

Rijeka beat Hibernian 4:1 in the Conference League's 3rd qualifying round and advanced to the playoffs. The first match between Rijeka and Hibernian in Edinburgh ended 1:1. 

Pavičić crowned Rijeka's better game in the first half with a goal in the 36th minute. Hibernian opened the second half with a goal in the 56th minute to shock the home team. After a Hibernian exclusion forced them to play with a man down from the 66th minute, Rijeka returned thanks to a goal by Abass in the 68th minute, and McGinn pushed Rijeka into the next round with an own goal in the 73rd minute. Bušnja confirmed Rijeka's playoff spot with a goal in the 90th minute. 

Goals: Pavičić 36', Abass 68', McGinn-og 73' Bušnja 90'/ Magennis 56'

In the fourth qualifying round, Rijeka will play against the Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki for a spot in the group stage. PAOK defeated Irish club Bohemian 2:0 on Thursday and thus made up for the goal behind (1:2) from the first match played in Dublin. 

The first playoff game will be played in Thessaloniki on August 19, and the return match in Rujevica is scheduled for August 26.

Osijek had a tougher job on Thursday night at City Garden Stadium and needed to come back from a two-goal deficit in the first match where CSKA won 4:2 in Sofia. 

DSC_8416.JPG

Slobodan Kadic

CSKA took the lead in the 33rd minute with a goal by Carey, and Osijek equalized through Škorić in the 45th minute. However, the match ended 1:1, which was not enough for Osijek to continue its run in the Europa Conference League.

CSKA will play in the playoffs against the winner of Viktoria Plzen and Welsh TNS.

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Sunday, 28 February 2021

Simon Rožman No Longer Rijeka Coach After 0:1 Loss to Hajduk

February 28, 2021 - Coach Simon Rožman (37) resigned after Rijeka's defeat to Hajduk (0:1) at Rujevica in the 23rd round of the HNL on Saturday. The club's management accepted his resignation.

"Simon Rožman is no longer the coach of Rijeka. After the defeat to Hajduk, Rožman offered, and the HNK Rijeka management accepted his resignation, and the model of terminating his contract will be agreed upon. Rožman arrived in Rijeka at the end of September 2019, after which he won the Croatian Cup in 2020. This season placed in the Europa League group stage, where he achieved remarkable results in the competition against Napoli, Real Sociedad, and AZ Alkmaar. HNK Rijeka wishes Simon all the best in the continuation of his career," reads the club's statement, as reported by Index.hr

The Slovene coach decided to leave Rijeka after another loss to Hajduk. 

"We had two unforced substitutions due to injuries. When I pulled Čerin out, our midfield fell. Hajduk used that. Then we gave everything in the attack. We can't even score from the penalty spot. We need to gather our heads; we need to rest. We gave everything we have; we were 'all in.’ We had 15 shots on target," he said after the loss.

Rožman took over Rijeka in September 2019 when he succeeded Igor Bišćan, who went to the U-21 national team. In the first season on the Rijeka bench, he won the Cup, beating Lokomotiva 1:0 in the final.

He was in third place in the championship, and as the winner of the Cup, he qualified for the Europa League, in which he first defeated the Ukrainian club Colossus and then the strong Copenhagen. Rijeka was drawn into a terribly difficult Europa League group with Napoli, Alkmaar, and Real Sociedad and won a respectable four points.

Eleven days ago, Rožman signed a new contract with Rijeka until 2024.

"Thanks to the club once again for their support, it means a lot to the entire professional staff, and I believe that together we can achieve our goals in the future. The wish of all of us in Rijeka is to continue on the same path. At this moment, the situation may not look the best, We thank the club for thinking the same way, and we all want to develop content on the field together, promote young players to be sustainable, but do not forget the result ambition which is always to try to win a trophy and play in European competitions," said Rožman at the time.

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Friday, 30 October 2020

Europa League: Dinamo and CSKA Moscow Draw, AZ Alkmaar Better than Rijeka

October 30, 2020 - The 2nd round of the Europa League was played on Thursday evening, in which Dinamo and CSKA Moscow drew, and Rijeka suffered a tough defeat to AZ Alkmaar. 

In the 2nd round match of Group K, Dinamo played 0-0 against CSKA in Moscow, while in the second match of Group K, Wolfsberger surprised by beating Feyenoord 4-1 in Rotterdam.

A week ago, Dinamo played 0-0 against Feyenoord at Maksimir Stadium, and the Blues' visit to Moscow ended with an identical result.

CSKA completely outplayed Dinamo, but was unable to score. Dinamo had another bland performance and can be happy that they won a point mostly thanks to the excellent Dominik Livaković who had a number of excellent saves in goal. 

How harmless Mamic's side was is shown by the statistics - they had only one shot on goal. 

Even after their second group stage match, Dinamo has a goal difference of 0-0 and with two points takes third place in the standings. CSKA has the same number of points, but with a goal difference of 1-1.

In the second match of this group, Austrian club Wolfsberger surprisingly defeated Feyenoord in Rotterdam 4-1 (2-0) and thus took the lead with four points, while Feyenoord is in last with one point. The triple scorer for Wolfsberger was Liendl (6-11m, 13-11m, 60), and one goal was added by Joveljić (66-11m), while the goal for Feyenoord was scored by Berghuis (54).

Dinamo will host Wolfsberger in the 3rd round in one week.

Rijeka suffered a heavy 1-4 (0-2) defeat away to AZ Alkmaar in their 2nd round match of Group F. 

The scorers for the Dutch team were Koopmeiners (6-11m), Gudmundsson (20, 60) and Karlsson (51), while Rijeka's Kulenović (72) slightly reduced the result. 

Rijeka quickly fell behind in Alkmaar, and after 20 minutes, it was 2-0 for the home team, who then calmly held the advantage. With two more goals at the beginning of the second half, they convincingly reached the victory. 

Kulenović's goal was Rijeka's first goal in the group competition this season. Recall, in the 1st round a week ago at Rujevica, Rijeka lost to Real Sociedad 0-1.

In the second match of this group, Napoli defeated Real Sociedad 1-0 in San Sebastian, and the only scorer was Politano in the 56th minute.

After two rounds, AZ is at the top of the group with a maximum of six points, followed by Napoli and Real Sociedad with three points each, while Rijeka is in last without points.

For the 3rd round match in one week, Rijeka will host Napoli, and at the same time, Real Sociedad will host AZ Alkmaar.

Source: HRT

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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

VIDEO: Rijeka Fans Light Up Krk Bridge with 222 Flares for Operation Storm

August 5, 2020 - 222 defenders were killed in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County during the Croatian War of Independence. 222 torches are traditionally burned in their honor on Krk Bridge to commemorate Operation Storm.

Operation Storm, a strategic victory in which the Croatian Army liberated Croatia, began on this day in 1995. It is considered the most important military offensive of the Croatian War of Independence. 

Index.hr reports that during the Croatian War of Independence, from 1991 to 1995, 222 defenders were killed in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and 222 torches are burned in their honor on the Krk Bridge. The traditional torchlight procession has been organized since 2017 by the NK Rijeka fan group 'Armada', the 'Vavik Vjerna Kirija' fan association from Crikvenica and members of the 'Blue and White Island' fan association from the island of Krk.

Take a look at the scenes from the Krk Bridge below.

"There is no surrender! Honoring the dead does not allow a delay, not for anything, let alone for the rain!" pointed out the Armada fan group, answering the question if the adverse weather on Tuesday would disrupt the torchlight procession on the Krk Bridge, by which fans pay tribute to the fallen veterans from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County that gave their lives for an independent Croatia.

"On this day in 1995, the victorious Storm started. How would it be if the operation was postponed because very high temperatures were announced, if they delayed the action for a more pleasant situation? We cannot retreat, there will be 222 torches for the heroes from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County whose lives were lost for our freedom in the Homeland War.

Several inquiries arrived in the last few hours about whether the traditional Armada torchlight procession would take place. The reason for concern can be seen with the naked eye, just by looking out the window and the announcement of more torrential rain over Rijeka, including in the area of Kraljevica during the torchlight procession. Delaying this is out of the question and there is no surrender. Get dressed and go to Kraljevica, Oštar, Voz, Črinjševa," said the members of the Armada before the torchlight procession.

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Monday, 23 September 2019

Igor Biscan Resigns as Rijeka Coach, Cites Lack of Support and Poor Conditions

September 23, 2019 - After Dino Skender was sacked as the Osijek coach on Saturday, Rijeka coach Igor Biscan handed in his resignation. 

Index.hr reports that Biscan resigned at a press conference after defeating Istria in Pula (3:0). Rijeka registered their first victory after 50 days, but that did not affect the decision made by Bišcan before the game. Damir Miskovic already had a solution on Sunday morning.

Biscan cited that he was dissatisfied with the club atmosphere and limited staff. Rijeka officially confirmed the news as soon as the match in Pula ended.

After the victory, Biscan shunned the cameras and asked his assistant Anto Tomic to take the television interviews and comment on the match live from the stadium. Tomic knew that Biscan was going to hold his final press conference as the coach of Rijeka.

In a brief address to the press, Biscan said he was leaving disappointed with the working conditions at the club and the situation around the club.

"I will talk about the match very briefly. The way my players played today is the best indicator of how much truth there is in the headlines that we turned our backs on each other. As you know, this is my last match on the Rijeka bench. I am tired of working in conditions that are not ideal; they are nowhere near that. Nonetheless, we were able to produce great results in conditions that were not great. Times have changed,” Igor Biscan said in his introduction, and openly said that he had a hard time dealing with the boycott of Rijeka fans from day one and cared very much about the club.

This was clearly evident in his work and dedication in Rijeka, where, despite the turbulence, he revitalized an average team and proved to be an excellent coach. Even so, Biscan was increasingly nervous and repeatedly said at press conferences that poor results are the result of lack of quality in the team, but that players have no reason to complain.

Bišćan thanked his players and associates.

"From the beginning, I did not have the support of the general public here. As I said before, it's a different time. Rijeka used to be able to buy a left back for one game, and now this is no longer possible. I decided I had to stop. I thank everyone for their support, Damir Mišković for his trust, and the biggest thanks go to my staff and players. I wish Rijeka good luck and hope they find someone who will care about the club as much as I did,” Igor Biscan concluded and left the press conference.

The reporters did not have the opportunity to ask Biscan additional questions.

The boss of Rijeka has already hired a new coach, and according to unofficial information, the club is being taken over by Simon Rozman, a 36-year-old Slovenian with whom the club has been in contact since Matjaz Kek's departure.

Miskovic saw a long-term solution in Biscan, but their cooperation didn't last a year. On Monday morning, Index.hr learned that the new coach is already on the way to Rijeka. Rozman is otherwise a great favorite of Matjaz Kek, who wanted him as part of his staff in Rijeka.

Rozman has led Celje and Domzale in his coaching career. He left Domzale 18 days ago.

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

Europa League Play-offs: NK Rijeka Unlucky Against Gent, Fails to Make Group Stage

August 29, 2019 - Gent eliminated NK Rijeka at Rujevica Stadium on Thursday with a 3:2 aggregate, thus moving into the group stage of the Europa League.

Rijeka failed to advance to the group stage of the Europa League this season, reports Gol.hr.

After playing 1:1 against Belgian club Gent in the return match of the play-off round in Rujevica, they failed to come back from the 1:2 loss in Belgium in the first game a week ago. Rijeka led thanks to a goal by Puljić in the 32nd minute, but only two minutes later, Plastun equalized.

After half an hour of careful play on both sides, Rijeka came to a 1:0 advantage when Acosty found Puljić in the box, who shot from seven meters out into the back of the net. 

Unfortunately, Gent equalized immediately in the next attack. The ball came into Rijeka's penalty area and fell in front of Plastun, who, like Puljić, scored from seven meters out. 

In the rest of the match, Rijeka created several chances, but failed to score which would have taken the duel to an additional 30 minutes

Rijeka has thus ended their Europa League campaign this season. The club has failed to qualify for the Europa League group stage for the fourth time in six years

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Europa League Play-offs: Gent Tops NK Rijeka 2:1 in First Leg

August 22, 2019 - Gent topped NK Rijeka 2:1 in the first leg of the Europa League play-off round in Belgium. 

In the first match of the Europa League play-offs, NK Rijeka was unlucky against Belgian club Gent, losing 2:1 away for a 1:0 aggregate, reports HRT.

Rijeka took the lead in the 40th minute thanks to a goal by Tibor Halilović, though, in the second half, Gent’s Laurent Depoitre managed a turnaround for the Belgian club with two goals in the 57th and 71st minute. 

Rijeka came to Gent with a clear goal - to achieve a result that gives them a chance to advance to the Europa League group stage. They let Gent keep possession of the ball, played disciplined, and all attempts by the Belgian club to threaten Rijeka's goal in the first half were unfruitful. 

The hosts had their only opportunity in the 36th minute after an error by Acosty.

Rijeka led in the 40th minute after Tibor Halilović played Čolak in the penalty area, though his back was to the goal. However, Čolak managed to lay off the ball to Halilović who shot from 10 meters out to give Rijeka the lead. 

At the start of the second half, Gent put even more pressure on the Rijeka defense. After two unsuccessful headers, Gent equalized in the 57th minute. Yaremchuk made his way through the left side and crossed into the penalty area where Laurent Depoitre scored for 1:1.

Gent's pressure once again produced a goal in the 71st minute thanks to a Depoitre header for 2:1.

The home side had their last chance at the 80th minute, though Yaremchuk's header went over the crossbar.

The return game in Rijeka will be played in one week. 

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Thursday, 15 August 2019

Europa League Qualifiers: NK Rijeka Tops Aberdeen, Secures Playoff Round

August 15, 2019 - NK Rijeka and Aberdeen met in the return match of the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday evening in Scotland. 

It was not difficult for Rijeka to top Aberdeen once again in the return game of the third round of the Europa League qualifiers. The Croatian club celebrated 2:0 at Pittodrie Stadium, achieving a 4:0 aggregate over the Scottish club, reports Gol.hr.

Thus, Rijeka has secured the Europa League playoff round where they will play Ghent, who defeated AEK Larnaca from Cyprus. Rijeka and Ghent will meet on August 22 in Belgium, followed by the return match in Rijeka on August 29. 

Igor Bišćan's team had a much easier job than they expected in the qualifiers. After neutralizing the hosts' initial aggression, they took the lead in the 10th minute after Aberdeen lost the ball and Rijeka went on the attack. Zoran Kvržić found the foot of Stjepan Lončar who put the ball in the back of the net for 1:0. At this point in the game, Aberdeen had to score four goals to move forward. 

Aberdeen showed their nervousness and lost concentration, which resulted in a double yellow for Funso Ojo in the 20th minute. Aberdeen played the rest of the match with a man down. 

All hope was lost for the Scottish side, which was further confirmed after Rijeka increased their lead in the 32nd minute thanks to a combination between Maxwell Acosty, Zoran Kvržić and Mirko Čolak. 

Until the end of the first half, Rijeka routinely controlled the course of events, preventing Aberdeen from seriously threatening their goal. 

The second half was no different. Aberdeen pressured in the opening minutes of the second half, though Rijeka held their own and managed to go through the qualifiers without conceding a goal. 

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