First leg score: Villarreal 4-2 HNK Hajduk Split
Will Villarreal’s first leg advantage prove insurmountable in Croatia?
Last Thursday, Hajduk Split took a shock second minute lead at Estadi Ciutat de València, given to them by Stipe Biuk.
However, Villarreal then proceeded to score four times in a 30 minute spree; José Luis Morales bagging two, Gerard Moreno on target and Marko Livaja responsible for an own goal.
Marco Fossati did convert an 85th minute penalty, reducing the arrears, as it finished 4-2 in Valencia.
Can HNK Hajduk Split mount a comeback at Stadion Poljud?
Under Unai Emery, Villarreal have won the Europa League in 2021 and reached last season’s Champions League semi-finals.
So, it would be a major surprise of el Submarino Amarillo didn’t become Spain’s first-ever Europa Conference League group stage participants.
Hajduk Split meanwhile haven’t qualified for a group stage since 2010, despite competing in UEFA competition every year since 2006.
But, having surprisingly beaten Vitória de Guimarães in the previous round, Valdas Dambrauskas’ team will believe a shock victory is possible.
This one could be a thriller.