Saturday, 23 April 2022

Wonderkid Roko Šimić Leads RB Salzburg to UEFA Youth League Final!

April 23, 2022 - 18-year-old Croatian footballer Roko Šimić was RB Salzburg's hero on Friday night and will play in this season's UEFA Youth League final!

You've likely heard a thing or two about wonderkid Roko Šimić, who recently made the list of the 50 best football talents of the next generation according to GOAL, with the Croatian striker coming in at #36. 

“Red Bull Salzburg’s conveyor belt of attacking talent is showing no signs of slowing, with Roko Šimić set to be one of the latest strikers to emerge at the Austrian champions. The son of Croatia legend Dario Šimić, the 18-year-old joined Salzburg for €4m in the summer of 2021 having become the youngest scorer in Lokomotiva Zagreb history the previous season. Šimic, who has been likened to both Erling Haaland and Dusan Vlahovic, has since signed a fresh four-year deal at Salzburg after breaking into the first-team squad, with Real Madrid, Arsenal and Tottenham among those rumoured to be tracking him,” GOAL wrote back in March.  

But Roko's talents aren't just because of his famous father Dario, who you may remember playing the shirts of Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Monaco. 

Namely, the 18-year-old Roko Šimić and RB Salzburg beat Atletico Madrid 5-0. Recall, the Spanish club was better than the Hajduk Juniors this season, with the Split club losing at Poljud on penalties in the playoff round of this competition. 

 

Šimić was unstoppable against Madrid. In the 15th minute, he brought his team to the lead, while in the 28th minute he scored a penalty for 2-0. But Roko wasn't done - he also assisted Kameri who scored 3-0 in the 44th minute!

In the second half, Sahin scored the fourth goal in the 67th minute and Dikite for 5-0 in the 89th minute.

In the final, RB Salzburg will play against Benfica, which beat Juventus 6-5 after a penalty shootout. After 90 minutes it was 2-2, with Benfica leading 2-0 with goals from Martim Neto in the 3rd and Luis Semed in the 10th minute. But at the end of the first half, Benefica played with a man down and Juventus used the upper hand to equalize at 2-2. The scorers were Chibozo in the 51st minute and Turicchi in the 73rd minute.

The final match will be played on Monday, April 25, at 6 pm. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

UEFA Youth League Playoff: Atletico Madrid Tops Hajduk Juniors on Penalties at Poljud

February 9, 2022 - The Hajduk juniors team met Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Youth League playoff round at Poljud Stadium in Split on Wednesday. 

In the first two rounds, Hajduk eliminated Tetovo club Shkendija and the Belarusian champions Minsk. They achieved three wins and a draw, with a goal difference of 9:2.

Atletico reached the playoffs as the second-placed team in Group B. Coached by Fernando Torres, Atletico recorded 10 points - three wins, one draw, and two defeats. Porto was behind Atletico in third, while the group winner was Liverpool with 11 points.

Only one game is played in the playoff round, there is no overtime, and in the event of a draw, penalties are taken. The capacity of Poljud stadium was limited on Wednesday due to epidemiological measures (40%). 8,761 fans were in attendance. Hajduk was the host of the match because they were the Croatian champion. 

Lineups

Hajduk: Silić, Letaj, Capan, Čuić, Brkljača, Hrgović, Pukštas, Prpić, Krolo, Bradarić, Ljubičić 

Atletico: Iturbe, Diez, Navarro, Kamara, Kostis, Curras, Gismera, Corral, Barrios, El Jebari, Martin

Recap

We saw a very even first half with one attempt on goal for Hajduk compared to Atletico's two. However, a highlight of the first half came for Hajduk in the final minute when a free kick was awarded outside the box.  Capan sent the ball into the box which Cuic headed into the crossbar. With chaos in front of the Atletico keeper from the rebound, Hajduk ultimately sent the ball over the goal line, which the ref called back for an offensive foul. 

The match ended 0:0 going into halftime. 

Atletico came our far more aggressive to start the second half, with two corners in the 56th and 58th minutes. 

Hajduk made its first substitutions in the 61st minute - Lazar came on for Krolo, and Vrcic for Cuic. Less than 10 minutes later, Vladusic replaced Brkljaca. 

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second half, either, bringing the match to penalties.

Penalties

Ljubicic went up first for Hajduk and hit the post. 

Curras scored Atletico's first penalty 0:1.

Hrgovic scored Hajduk's next penalty - 1:1.

Atletico missed their second penalty to keep it 1:1! 

Vrcic scored for 2:1. 

Atletico made their next one for 2:2.

Capan missed to keep it 2:2. 

Atletico took the lead again thanks to Martin for 2:3. 

Hajduk missed their last penalty for Atletico to move ahead in the Youth League. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

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