MX23RW : Friday, September 17 07:22:31| >> :120:38608:38608:
Oct 3, 2013 at 6pm UK at Stadion Kantrida
RijekaHNK Rijeka
Real Betis
Benko (10')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Cedric (14')

Live Commentary: HNK Rijeka 1-1 Real Betis - as it happened

Join Sports Mole for all the action from the Europa League Group I clash between HNK Rijeka and Real Betis.

HNK Rijeka and Real Betis met for the first time in competitive action in their Europa League Group I clash.

Both sides were looking for their first win of the group stages after the Croatian side lost their opener to Vitoria de Guimaraes, while Betis drew with Lyon.

However, the teams had to settle for a point apiece in Croatia as Cedric Mabwati cancelled out Leon Benko's 10th minute strike to earn a draw for the Spanish side.

See how all the events of the game unfolded in our commentary below.

Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Europa League clash between HNK Rijeka and Real Betis in Croatia.

Both teams are in need of a win tonight to kick start their respective campaigns after failing to register a victory in their openers.

Rijeka are in desperate need of an improved performance following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Guimaraes two weeks ago, which has left them bottom of the group and with a poor goal difference.

Betis started their campaign with a solid 0-0 draw with Lyon at the Estadio Benito Villamarin. They'll be hopeful of registering their first win tonight.

Pepe Mel's side should be confident going into tonight after picking up their second win of the season in La Liga at the weekend after beating Villarreal 1-0.

The team news has just been announced and we'll start with the home side.

RIJEKA STARTING XI: Vargic, Knezevic, Tomecak, Maric, Bertosa, Mocinic, Kvrzic, Males, Brezovec, Benko, Krstanovic

RIJEKA SUBS: Mance, Datkovic, Boras, Mujanovic, Pokrivac, Sharbini, Kramaric

BETIS STARTING XI: Andersen, Juanfran, Didac Vila, Perquis, Steinhofer, Jordi, Xavi Torres, Sevilla, Reyes, Cedric, Rodriguez

BETIS SUBS: Sara, Amaya, Nono, Verdu, Nosa, Nacho, Molina

The players are making their way out onto the pitch and we should be underway shortly.

We're underway in Croatia.

CHANCE! Benko has a great chance to give the home side the lead in the second minute, as he is played behind the Betis defence and shoots first time with a left-footed volley but Andersen makes a good save to tip his effort past the post.

From the resulting corner Knezevic gets up highest in the penalty area but is adjudged to have fouled Perquis allowing the Spanish side to clear their lines from a free kick.

Betis are getting slowly into a passing rhythm after the home side's fast start caught them off guard.

The visitors earn a free kick in a dangerous area of the field as Sevilla is brought down by Knezevic.

Sevilla takes the free kick himself and he gets his effort over the wall but his shot is comfortably saved by Vargic.

GOAL! Rijeka 1-0 Betis (Benko)

The home side take the lead and it's Benko who has got the goal as he volleys home from close range. Tomecak did well down the right to beat his man and lift a cross into the penalty area, where he found the striker unmarked and Benko acrobatically lifted himself and struck the ball in midair with his left foot and his effort flew past Andersen into the net.

That was against the run of play as Betis are dominating possession. Mel will not be happy that Benko was unmarked in the penalty area, in what appeared to be a complete defensive breakdown. The visitors have some work to do to get back into this one.

GOAL! Rijeka 1-1 Betis (Cedric)

Betis are gifted a way back into the game as Cedric rifles the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area after a series of defensive mistakes. Knezevic and Bertose can't clear a loose ball in the penalty area and Rodriguez pokes the ball back to the winger, who blasts the ball into the top corner beating Vargic.

The defending so far in this game hasn't been great, which won't please either manager but this means we could see a lot of goals this evening.

Sevilla tries an effort from a tight angle looking to catch Vargic off guard but the keeper is alert at his near post and makes the stop. The Betis captain has been heavily involved so far and is looking a real threat this evening.

The home side win a corner but Brezovec's delivery is poor and Betis easily clear their lines and may look to hit Rijeka on the break.

SAVE! They do exactly that as Rodriguez feeds the ball out wide to Cedric who runs at the Rijeka defence before unleashing a powerful right-footed shot at goal, which looks to be heading in before Vargic gets a hand to the ball to tip it over the bar.

CHANCE! Vargic to the rescue again for the home side as he beats away Juanfran's shot from the edge of the area, which looked to be creeping into the bottom corner.

From the resulting corner Steinhofer whips the ball into the penalty area but Vargic comes through a crowd of players to collect the ball.

CHANCE! Juanfran does well down the right and whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area, where Cedric jumps highest and gets a head onto the ball but his effort goes just wide of the post.

Betis are in command of this game at the moment as the home side are struggling to see the ball at all, as the Spanish side's midfield are controlling possession.

Betis pile on the pressure as Cedric wins back-to-back corners, the second delivery from Juanfran is well punched away by Vargic just as Perquis looked set to head the ball into the net.

Betis win a free kick in a dangerous position and Sevilla whips a low cross into the area, which pinballs around the box before Bertosa finally half clears the ball while Brezovec brings itn out and is brought down by Jordi, as the hosts win a free kick of their own.

A sloppy period of the game over the last few minutes as both teams commit several fouls giving away cheap free kicks in the process, which will suit the home side more if anything.

YELLOW CARD! Perquis becomes the first player to go into the book as he accidentally catches Brezovec in the head as he aims to kick the ball.

YELLOW CARD! Another booking but this time Krstanovic goes into the book for the home side for a clumsy challenge on Perquis.

CHANCE! Benko is found in all kinds of space deep in Betis territory on the right, he has Krstanovic racing into the penalty area and all he has to do is roll the ball to him to pick him out but tries loft his cross and the ball is too high and goes out of play for throw-in.

There will be three minutes of added time.

Rijeka are presented with a good chance to regain the lead just before half time as Perquis brings down Krstanovic 25 yards from goal. The defender has to be careful as he has already been booked.

Brezovec goes for goal from the 25 yards out from the free kick but his effort sails harmlessly over Andersen's bar.

HALF-TIME: Rijeka 1-1 Betis

The home side will be pleased with their efforts in the first half of the game after taking the lead through Leon Benko in the 10th minute. They will be disappointed they let Betis back into the game so easily but then had to defend an onslaught from the visitors throughout the rest of the half, so to be level at the break should please them.

Betis will know that they have dominated the first half in terms of possession but were cut open twice with ease, the first led to Benko's goal and the second could well have led to another goal from Krstanovic had Benko supplied a decent delivery.

The Spanish side have been by far the better team but will need to work on their efficiency in front of goal, if they do that they'll certainly go a long way to winning this game.

The teams are back out on the pitch so we should be back underway shortly in Croatia.

We're back underway in this Group I clash.

CHANCE! Nearly an opening for the home side as Krstanovic raids forward and gets into the box, he then slides a ball through to Benko who shoots first time but Jordi tracks his run all the way and makes the crucial block.

Krstanovic gets forward again and takes the ball inside the penalty area and links up well with Benko, he turns to shoot after receiving a one-two pass but he's flagged offside.

The visitors have settled back into their passing rhythm now after that early pressure from Rijeka. The second half is following a similar pattern to the first, fortunately for Betis without conceding.

The pace of the game has really dropped and although Betis are enjoy their fair share of possession they've got little penetration into Rijeka's territory.

Kvrzic hands a chance for the visitors to threaten with a free kick as he brings down Xavi Torres down the right in a threatening position for Betis.

Steinhofer whips the ball in from the right but his delivery is poor and doesn't beat the first man and Rijeka are able to clear the danger with ease.

YELLOW CARD! Boras goes into the book for the home side for a challenge on Sevilla, minutes after arriving from the bench.

Almost an opening for the home side as Benko finds space in the area and lifts a ball over the top for Krstanovic but Perquis gets back just in the knick of time to get the ball from him and clear.

The visitors have been extremely quiet in the final third of the pitch in this half as they've offered very little. It appears they haven't had a shot on target since the break.

Betis surge forward with Juanfran down the right and he decides to have a go at goal from distance but his shot is blocked before it can trouble Vargic and Rijeka clear the ball downfield.

The scrappy nature of the game is back as first Perquis gives away a foul for the visitors but in response Males and Mujanovic hand the ball back to Betis with cheap fouls of their own.

Juanfran finds space down the right and manages to win his side a corner. He delivers the ball himself but it goes straight into the hands of Vargic. This hasn't been a great advert for the game in this half.

Cedric is fed the ball just outside the penalty area he takes a touch to beat his man and fires a right-footed shot at goal but his effort goes comfortably wide.

Males lifts a ball over the top of the Betis defence and finds Krstanovic in space but the striker is flagged offside.

Betis are starting to up the ante slightly as they are pressing deeper and deeper into Rijeka territory but their final ball has been lacking, as when the space is enclosed they can't produce.

Nosa sums up the previous point well as Betis knock the ball around on the edge of the area and he tries to find Juanfran on an overlapping run but he overhits his pass and the ball goes out for a goal kick.

Juanfran gets the ball on the right and out of sheer frustration tries an effort at goal, which is easily blocked allowing the home side to clear their lines after a couple of minutes of solid Betis possession.

There will be four minutes of added time.

Both teams look like settling for the point here as neither can muster anything going forward, a lot of hopeful long balls have been hoofed forward in the past couple of minutes.

Betis make one last surge but Verdu can't pick out Cedric with a backheeled pass that would have released him inside the area but Maric intercepted the ball and cleared.

FULL-TIME: Rijeka 1-1 Betis

It's all over and both sides add a point to their tallies in their Europa League campaign. Neither side deserved to win despite an action packed first half, as the second was extremely tame and produced very little in terms of quality.

Rijeka boss Matjaz Kek will be delighted that his side earned their first point of their campaign while Pepe Mel will have wanted to have seen more from his side but judged on their performance he will have probably have been happy to escape without a defeat.

News from the other game in Group I this evening is that Lyon and Vitoria de Guimaraes have drawn 1-1 in their clash. Meaning, Vitoria maintain their lead at the top.

For a roundup of the action from our game tonight click here.

Our coverage of the Europa League continues tonight so stick around. If not we'll be back on Saturday with all the action from the Premier League and others, but until then goodbye.

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Real Betis coach Pepe Mel observes from the bench against Espanyol on September 1, 2013
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