Hibernians were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League after a 4-4 draw with FK Sarajevo in the first qualifying round second leg. The latter go through to the second qualifying round with an 9-6 aggregate score after last week’s 5-2 win.
The first half turned out to be highly entertaining with no less than seven goals being scored. On the other hand, the second half was an anti-climax with hardly any shot at goal, except for Sarajevo’s late equaliser.
The Paolites went one goal down and after levelling matters, they suffered another two goals to fall 1-3 down. However with a fine comeback they scored three to go 4-3 ahead by the end of the first half. A goal on the 90th then denied them victory.
Hibs coach Michael Woods could not field his best formation due to the absence of Clayton Failla, Jonathan Pearson and Rodolfo Soares.
The visitors could have taken the lead on the 11th minute when an Emir Hadzic effort hit the crossbar with a shot from the edge of the area. Asmir Suljic then tried his luck with another shot from outside the area which was neutralised by the Hibs goalkeeper.
FK Sarajevo however managed to take the lead on 12 minutes when off a cross by Suljic from the right, Emir Hadži? beat Muscat with the ball hitting the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Hibs replied with a Jason Vandelannoite header ending just wide off corner by Jackson Lima from the left on 17 minutes. A minute later, a close range effort by Jean Paul Farrugia was blocked by goalkeeper Adilovic.
The Paolites equalised with a great goal by Marcelo Dias on 22 minutes as he headed the ball home in style off an inviting cross by Andrew Cohen from the right.
A minute later, Sarajevo regained the lead when Asmir Suljic received a perfect pass by Husejinovic and beat Mario Muscat with a diagonal shot from the right.
Sarajevo scored the third goal on 27 minutes when off a corner by Sesar from the left, Emir Hadži? head the ball home past the Hibs custodian.
The Paolites reduced the gap on 35 minutes thanks to a powerful diagonal shot by Marcelo Dias from the right which gave the Sarajevo goalkeeper no chance.
Five minutes later, Hibs restored equilibrium when Jackson Lima released Jon Vandelannoite on the right and off the latter’s cross Jean Paul Farrugia headed the ball home.
One minute from the end of the first half, Hibernians took the lead when Marcelo Dias sent Jean Paul Farrugia through on the right and the latter beat Adilovi? with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.
After the break, the two teams shared the exchanges but shots at goal were rare.
Substitute Johann Bezzina went close to increasing the lead for the Paolites four minutes from time but his attempt was partially saved by the Sarajevo goalkeeper. A minute later, a Jackson Lima freekick was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Sarajevo levelled matters on the 90th through substitute Radan Sunjevari? who received a good pass from the left by Suljic, beating Muscat with a shot half-height.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Edward Herrera, Adrian Pulis, Ryan Camilleri, Steve Pisani (74′ Johann Bezzina), Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Marcelo Dias, Jackson Lima, Jason Vandelannoite, Jean Paul Farrugia.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Ayrton Azzopardi, Scott Chircop, Keith Tanti, Brandon Muscat, Karl Conti.
Coach: Michael Woods
SARAJEVO Adi Adilovi?, Ivan Sesar, Sedin Torlak, Said Husejinovi? (67′ Radan Sunjevari?), Emir Hadži? (81′ Nermin Haski?), Ivan Tatomirovi?, Boris Guji?, Zoran Beloševi? (46′ Žarko Karamati?), Nemanja Zlatkovi?, Denis ?omor, Asmir Sulji?
Subs not used: Emir Plakalo, Secouba Diatta, Mario Tadejevi?, Amer Dupovac
Coach: Dragan Jovi?
Referee: Ádám Németh (HUN)
Assistant referees: László Viszokai (HUN), Oszkar Lemon (HUN)
Fourth official: Peter Solymosi (HUN)
Yellow cards: Farrugia, Torlak, Kristensen