Real Sociedad draw with Rijeka to take knockout-stage qualification down to the last day

Real Sociedad twice fought back from a goal down at Anoeta to Croatian side Rijeka to draw 2-2 and take qualification for the knockout stage of the Europa League down to the last matchday.

Rijeka enjoyed just 25% of possession and managed to score two goals from three shots on target, statistics indicative of the balance of the general play.

Despite this, the Croatians struck the first blow, with Darko Velkovski making it 1-0 shortly before half-time. Jon Bautista then scored La Real’s first equaliser in the 69th minute before Rijeka hit back four minutes later through Stjepan Loncar.

Given other results, defeat would have put the Basques at a disadvantage heading into the final matchday, so it was to great relief when Nacho Monreal scored their second equaliser just over ten minutes from time.

La Real are now two points behind Napoli and level with AZ Alkmaar, who are currently in third. Remarkably, this evening was the only point Rijeka have earned this European campaign.

La Real have the better of the head-to-head record with Alkmaar but are facing a daunting trip to Naples next Thursday. Chances are they’ll have to match Alkmaar’s result in Croatia to secure passage through to the knockout stage.

Featured image courtesy of Real Sociedad.

Tags Europa League Real Sociedad