Gżira United were denied victory against Radnicki while Ħamrun Spartans defeated Velez Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10.26pm FULL-TIME! Ħamrun Spartans have recorded their second straight victory in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Branko Nisevic’s side will host Velez in next week’s second leg where they will start as favourites having won 1-0 on Bosnian soil.
10.23pm In stoppage time, Bonello saved the result of the Spartans when he somehow kept out Haskic’s shot.
10.21pm Igor Nedeljkovic came close to a third with an angled drive that finished just wide.
10.18pm The Spartans are almost there but they need to survive the six minutes of stoppage time that have been awarded by the referee to celebrate a famous victory.
10.13pm Henry Bonello came to the Spartans’ rescue on 83 minutes when he dived to his left to push away Panteljic’s shot.
10.10pm Frustration isstarting to creep in the Velez Mostar’s players who are struggling to find space in the Spartans defence
10pm Ħamrun came close to a second goal on 71 minutes when Souwe sped in space on the right and his shot was blocked by Bogdanovic.
9.51pm Just past the hour, Nisevic withdrew the energetic Jonny and roped in Souwe who was making his debut.
9.45pm On minute 57, Camenzuli ran into space on the left and his cross was met by Jonny who headed wide.
9.37pm Despite holding a one-goal lead Ħamrun Spartans continued where they left off in the first half as they pressed high in the Velez Mostar final third.
9.36pm Second half is underway in Bosnia-Herzegovina as Ħamrun Spartans are leading 1-0.
9.16pm Half-time… Ħamrun Spartans go into the break 1-0 ahead courtesy of a Matthew Guillaumier goal but more importantly it has been an impressive display by the Maltese side so far.
9.14pm One minute of stoppage time as the Spartans look to go into the break ahead.
9.03pm GOAAALL!!! Ħamrun Spartans take the lead. The Spartans win a free-kick and Dodo’s delivery was met by Elvis Mashike with goalkeeper Bogdanovic pushing the ball onto the upright and in came Matthew Guillaumier to tap home.
9pm Ħamrun Spartans survived a scare as on 25 minutes when Steve Borg’s back header finished into the path of Hasanovic but his shot was blocked by Bonello.
8.57pm FULL-TIME! That’s all from the Centenary Stadium. Gżira United were denied a remarkable victory after Radnicki managed to snatch a late equaliser. Nonetheless, an encouraging result for the Maroons ahead of the next week’s second leg in Serbia.
8.52pm GOAL Heartbreak for Gżira United as Radnicki pull level in the second minute of stoppage time.
Radnicki find a late equaliser on the 92nd minute through Maka Gakou who slotted a loose ball into empty net following a set-piece situation.
8.50pm Velez Mostar were looking dangerous in their quick transitions. On 16 minutes, Nermin Haskic sped clear but his angled drive failed to hit the target.
8.45pm With 87 minutes on the clock, Gżira are defending relentlessly to preserve the 2-1 victory.
8.43pm Gżira United’s goal scorer is subbed off as Maxuell is replaced by Toni Kolega, with 15 minutes left.
8.40pm The home side responded immediately with Ħamrun goalkeeper Henry Bonello showing great reflexes to keep out Dino Hasanovic’s shot from the edge of the area.
8.30pm Action under way in Bosnia and Ħamrun Spartans make a bright start as inside the first minute Matthew Guillaumier’s throughball found Dodo in space and the Cape Verde forward saw his shot saved by Slavisa Bogdanovic.
8.25pm Maxuell’s brace has forced Radnicki’s coach to effect three changes in an attempt to turn around the score.
8.23pm GOAL! Gżira take the lead, five minutes after finding an equaliser. Maxuell converted from the spot after Marcelo Dias won the penalty having been floored by defender Bojan Mladovic.
8.22pm PENALTY GŻIRA UNITED… extraordinary scenes at the Centenary Stadium.
8.20pm Somehow, the Radnicki goalkeeper failed to control a back pass towards him with the ball ricocheting onto the feet of Maxuell in front of an empty net, with the Brazilian converting from point-blank range.
8.15pm GOAL! Maxuell finds a leveller for Gżira United in bizarre fashion.
8.10pm Confirmation of Ħamrun Spartans’ starting XI against Velez Mostar.
8.05pm Action restarts at the Centenary Stadium as Gżira United will look to try and restore parity but surely they will need to take some risks against Radnicki.
No changes effected from neither Gżira United or Radnicki at half-time.
8.00pm Ħamrun Spartans’ latest signing Moussa Sowe was included for the first time since his close-season move and was named among the substitutes.
HALF-TIME! Gżira United trail by one goal after Radnicki capitalised on their only scoring chance they had in the first 45 minutes.
Below is the goal that so far has given Radnicki the lead.
7.45pm Radnicki have enjoyed a slight edge in the first half but Gżira United have offered stiff resistance and were punished in the occasion where they were found wanting in their own area.
7.40pm Radnicki almost doubled their lead through Sava Petrov but his low drive went off target.
7.35pm We have some team news from the match of the other Maltese representative on Thursday – Ħamrun Spartans.
In fact, coach Branko Nisevic has kept faith with the same starting XI that starred in last week’s exceptional 4-1 win over Alashkert of Armenia at the Centenary Stadium.
ĦAMRUN SPARTANS LINE-UP: Henry Bonello; Ognjen Bjelicic, Steve Borg, Emerson Marcelina, Juan Corbalan, Roko Prsa, Matthew Guillaumier, R. Camenzuli, Dodo, Elvis Mashike, Jonny.
7.30pm GOAL! Radnicki take the lead on minute 28. Nikola Stulic met Lazar Jovanovic’s cross from the right-flank and volleyed it home past Darijan Zarkov.
7.20pm It has been a very sloppy start from both sides as with the two teams heading for the water break, neither side had a decent scoring chance so far.
We have to say that Gżira United’s tactical organisation has been exceptional so far as Radnicki are struggling to impose their game play.
7.10pm The match is evenly-balanced with Gżira United trying to put some kind of pressure on the Radnicki defence but so far scoring chances have been few and far between.
7pm WE ARE UNDERWAY! Gżira United with the kick-off…
6.59pm Officiating the game will be Hungarian referee Ferenc Karako.
6.55pm An interesting transfer news from the Gżira United camp… which actually has nothing to do with the Maroons themselves.
Midfielder Jean Paul Attard, sitting on the bench for today’s first leg against Radnicki, has been confirmed as San Ġwann women’s team coach for the new season.
6.50pm This is the second time that Gżira and Radnicki will face off each other in a UEFA club competition.
In 2018/2019, they crossed swords in the first qualifying round of the Europa League in what was Gżira’s first season in Europe since 1973.
After eliminating Sant Julia of Andorra 4-1 on aggregate, Gżira’s run was cut short after a 5-0 aggregate defeat against the Serbian side.
6.45pm Meanwhile, Radnicki of Serbia are expected to line-up in a 4-3-3 formation led by captain Aleksandar Pejovic.
This will be their first European game since the 2019/2020 season when they were upset by Flora Tallinn 4-2 on aggregate.
Radnicki have already started their Serbian Super Liga commitments and they could not have had a much more difficult start than they have endured.
In fact, Radnicki’s opening couple of games were against popular sides Red Star Belgrade – league holders, and Partizan Belgrade.
While they were heavily thumped 4-0 by Red Star, Radnicki did register a point against Partizan Belgrade in a dramatic 3-3 draw.
6.40pm A reminder of how Gżira United made it into the second qualifying round of this competition.
The Maroons defeated Atletic Escaldes 2-1 on aggregate thanks to last week’s narrow 1-0 win in Andorra.
Brazilian forward Jefferson with his 34th Gżira goal of his career.
6.35pm If the line-ups on the UEFA website are anything to go by, Gżira are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 tactical shape.
Central defender Luke Tabone has been given the nod after being on the bench in last week’s feisty affair against Atletic Escaldes of Andorra.
Ricardo Correa is also set to start with Maxuell and Jefferson to lead the attack.
Toni Kolega and Jackson Mendoza are dropped on the bench after starting in last Thursday’s second leg in Andorra.
6.30pm In the Matchday-1 press conference, Gżira coach Darren Abdilla admitted that there will be a number of changes to his line-up when facing Radnicki.
6.25pm We are 30 minutes away from kick-off as we bring you Gżira United’s starting formation.
6.15pm Welcome to our live blog as we bring you the latest updates on the two Maltese representatives that will be playing the first legs in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Gżira United will be the first team in action as they host Serbia’s Radnicki at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off: 19.00).
Meanwhile, Ħamrun Spartans will meet Velez Mostar of Bosnia-Herzegovina as they play the first leg away from home (kick-off: 20.30).
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