Rijeka 4-1 Hibs: European jaunt comes to juddering halt in Croatia
Hibs’ Europa Conference League journey has come to an abrupt end after a 4-1 defeat by Rijeka.
The Easter Road side could, and arguably should, have won the first leg but the teams went into the return game tied at 1-1.
Hibs were without captain Paul Hanlon and striker Christian Doidge, and their absence was keenly felt as the Capital club toiled in the Croatian heat.
Domagoj Pavicic put the hosts ahead shortly before the break but Kyle Magennis equalised, giving Hibs hope.
But a daft red card for Darren McGregor, who had picked up a needless booking early on, did for the visitors and they conceded twice in five minutes with Issah Abass netting both.
Substitute Denis Bušnja added insult to injury in added time as he waltzed through the defence and drew Matt Macey before firing home to complete a 5-2 aggregate win for the Prva HNL side.
Rijeka v Hibs
- First leg finished 1-1
- Doidge and Hanlon miss out for Hibs
- Nisbet returns to starting XI
Hibs are 90* minutes away from the Europa Conference League play-off round. Standing in their way are NK Rijeka of Croatia. The tie is finely balanced after a 1-1 draw in the first leg but Jack Ross remains confident of his side securing a second consecutive away win in Europe after the 2-1 win in Andorra against Santa Coloma.
* Yes, extra time and penalties etc etc but let’s not go there, eh?
No Christian Doidge, and no Paul Hanlon, but Kevin Nisbet returns to the side.
Macey; McGinn, McGregor, Porteous, Doig; Doyle-Hayes, Newell, Magennis; Boyle, Nisbet, Murphy.
Subs: Dabrowski, Samson, Brydon, Stevenson, Wright, Gogic, Campbell, Gullan, Mackay.
PAOK and Bohemians have just kicked off at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki - winners of that match take on NK Rijeka or Hibs, with Bohs leading 2-1 from the first leg.
And PAOK have just scored after five minutes. So 2-2 on aggregate now.
Five changes for the hosts from last week - the big one is Josip Drmic, who drops out with Jorge Obregon starting in his place.
Andrej Prskalo starts between the sticks in place of Nediljko Labrovic while Anton Kresic replaces Joao Escoval in defence.
Robert Muric is in for Adrian Liber in midfield while Adam Cerin starts over Andrija Vukcevic.
Hibs in all green - no kit clashes of any sort allowed in UEFA competitions - with the hosts in all-white with sky blue piping
Rijeka with an early sight of goal but the header is well wide and Matt Macey will take the goal kick