Competition news


28 Aug 2008
Deportivo achieved the pass to the first round in UEFA thanks to a clear victory over Hajduk Split. The Galicians suffered during the first fifteen minutes, but later the squad found the pace of the game. Riki and Verd?? scored the goals during the final moments of each half. Now Deportivo waits for its rival in the draw that will take place on this day.

Lotina surprised with the appearance of De Guzm??n in the starting line-up. Sergio was left on the bench and the Canadian midfielder played alongside Juan Rodr?­guez and Antonio Tom??s is a triple pivote figure. Up front, Valer??n, Guardado and Riki were responsible for the goals. The Gradski Stadion u Poljudu had an impressive attendance, a factor that would not affect Deportivo.

As Lotina appointed, Hajduk Split pushed strongly during the first minutes searching for the goal. In the second minute the home side had a clear chance as Aranzubia saved with his right leg an attempt of Kalinic. Deportivo balanced the things and at minute 8, Lopo wasted an occasion after he sent out a free-kick taken by Antonio Tom??s. The game was emotive but the chances to score weren’t arriving, mostly for the fouls committed by both sides. Hajduk was insisting with long-distance shots and Depor was trying to keep the calm.

The problem at Deportivo was that Valer??n had troubles to find the proper connection with Guardado and Riki, his passes weren’t reaching the target and no clear opportunities were created. Meanwhile Hajduk was more dangerous with its direct game, at minute 25 a corner-kick of the home side was saved by Aranzubia after a header of Kalinic. Lopo and Piscu were having a busy day, but they were keeping calm and their interventions were always opportune.

The first connection between Valer??n and Riki occurred until minute 31, it ended with Hajduk’s defensive line sending the ball to a corner-kick. Then the Galicians tried a short play between Guardado and Antonio Tom??s, but the final cross couldn’t be reached by Juan Rodr?­guez, later the shot of Riki went over the crossbar.

At minute 36 Guardado sent the ball to the box as  he took a free-kick, Hajduk’s defenders couldn’t clear the ball, but in the end, Subasic contained the ball. In the next play, Ticinovic tested from mid-distance, but the ball went over the crossbar. Depor was playing with more confidence at this point and the Galician players were enjoying the ball possession, but no clear occasions were created. It wasn't until minute 38 when Depor was close to score. Antonio Tom??s took a new free-kick, but his cross didn’t find Juan Rodr?­guez inside the box.

At minute Riki wasted the first big chance for him after he sent out a new free-kick of Antonio Tom??s. Now the Galicians were clearly dominating the actions and the goal seemed close. And it wasn’t like that because the same Riki scored the goal just three minutes before halftime. It was an impressive play made by the whole squad, first Guardado passed the ball to Valer??n and then El Flaco sent a sensational pass to Filipe who entered into the box by the left side, then the Brazilian drilled the ball between the legs of the keeper and Riki arrived just to push the ball in.

It was just what Depor needed, a goal to silence a stadium that was very enthusiastic within the first 43 minutes, Hadjuk tried to reach the equaliser before halftime but Lopo cleared the danger in the last play of the first half. The key for the Galicians was Valer??n, Depor struggled during the first minutes because the Canarian playmaker was out of the game, but as soon as he found the pace, Lotina’s side started to play better and it was then when Riki’s goal arrived. Aranzubia was also important with his two saves.

The home side started the actions trying to score the two needed goals and for this reason coach Goran Vucevic sent Linic to the pitch. But Hajduk continued with its problems up front and they were only reaching Depor’s area through the aerial game. In the meantime, Depor was trying to reduce the pace of the game.

The first opportunity for the home team came at minute 52, it was a corner-kick in which Aranzubia had some doubts to clear the ball with the hands, in the end the sequence ended with a shot over the bar. One of the better news of the game was that both Laure and Piscu were not affected by the pressure put by the local fans, these two ex-Fabril members were doing a good job, clearing the ball when the squad needed it and showing a surprising maturity.

Then Lotina made the first modification, he replaced Valer??n with Joan Verd??, an attempt that was trying to put more pause in midfield. Things became more favourable for Deportivo after the Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi sent out Andric after he fouled Depor’s keeper Aranzubia inside the box. The Croatian player was booked previously for protesting and the home side was now forced to search the comeback with just ten men on the pitch. 

Adri??n Lopez â€?Piscu’ has to leave the game at minute 67 after he was facing some physical problems. His place was taken by Z?© Castro. One minute after the modification, Depor was close to score its second goal, but Riki failed to complete the play after keeper Subasic cleared the ball to corner-kick. The Galicians were now having more space and more clear occasions. At minute 72 Lopo was close to score, again after he found a free-kick of Antonio Tom??s inside the box. The ball was stopped by Subasic. And the third choice for Depor within five minutes came after Juan Rodr?­guez sent a cross that Guardado sent near to the left post.

Hajduk seemed defeated and Deportivo was taking advantage of the momentum, but the second goal wasn’t arriving. The final fifteen minutes were the most pleasant moments for the Galicians. Lotina’s side was reaching the rival’s area without any problem while the �Torcida’ continued to cheer its team, but without the same intensity of the first half. Mista replaced Riki for the final eight minutes, but it was Joan Verd?? who scored the deserved second goal after he took a penalty caused by a foul of Maloca over the Catalan midfielder.

The bad news of the game was that De Guzm??n was sent off in the final minute after he picked his second yellow card of the match in a foul over Skoko.  As result of this play, Marijan Buljat  took a free-kick that Ibricic headed inside the box, but Aranzubia was able to clear the danger with the chest. This was the last action of the match.

Deportivo made a good game and achieved a 2-0 win in a complicate stadium. The Galicians suffered the most during the first fifteen minutes, but then the Galicians started to win confidence and scored the two goals during the final minutes of both halves. Piscu and Laure made a good match as they never seemed nervous. Aranzubia was also a key factor with his important three saves. Now Depor waits for the draw that will take place today in order to know the rival to be faced in the first round.

Hajduk Split: Subasic - Buljat, Zivkovic, Maloca, Gabric – Andric, Skoko, Linic, Ticinovic (Ibricic 56’) – Kalinic, Bartolovic  (Oremus 75’).
Deportivo: Aranzubia – Laure, Lopo, Piscu (Ze Castro 67’), Filipe – Antonio Tomas De Guzm??n – Juan Rodr?­guez, Valer??n (Verd?? 61’), Guardado – Riki (Mista 82’).
Goals: 0-1: (42’) Riki, 0-2: (87’) Verd?? (penalty).
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA). He showed yellow card to Laure (11’), Maloca (34’) and Jurica Buljat (39’). Andric (65’) and De Guzm??n (89’) were sent off.
Venue: The Gradski stadion u Poljudu (35,000).

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