Aberdeen v NK Široki Brijeg

1

Aberdeen

draw
  • Ryan Christie - 1 goal(s)
13th July 2017 | 7:45 pm
Pittodrie Stadium

Recap

Aberdeen face a difficult second leg in Bosnia after drawing at home to Siroki Brijeg in Europa League qualifying.

Ryan Christie curled in a wonderful strike for the Dons and Gary Mackay-Steven went close to a debut goal after going round the keeper.

Shay Logan and Graeme Shinnie had second-half efforts saved but the visitors were always a threat.

And the game was level when Stipo Markovic fizzed in a shot from 18 yards on 69 minutes.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes wants to steer his side to the group stages of this tournament but they have their work cut out to get through to the third qualifying round for the fourth successive season.

A disappointing draw really cranks up the pressure for the return leg but the consolation is they have a good away record in Europe recently with notable wins in Groningen and Rijeka.

New signing Mackay-Steven may have hogged the pre-match headlines but it was a sublime piece of skill from his former Celtic team-mate Christie that captured the imagination when the action started.

The pair made their European debuts for the Dons along with Greg Tansey with fellow summer signings Greg Stewart and Nicky Maynard on the bench.

McInnes may have lost several key players over the summer but he went with his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation and high tempo pressing game.

The Bosnian side found that tough to deal with early on but it took a moment of real magic from the midfielder on a season-long loan from the Scottish champions.

His only exposure to European football with Celtic last season was an infamous defeat in Gibraltar and he certainly made amends for that on 18 minutes.

Joe Lewis didn’t have many saves to make but he influenced things going forward with an impressive assist for Christie’s stunning strike.

It was the goalkeeper’s vision and technique that sent the player clear but the midfielder enhanced his already glowing reputation with the Red Army with a sublime finish.

Christie earned cult status during his loan spell last season scoring seven goals in 15 games and enhanced it with a delightful curled left foot shot from the edge of the area.

Mackay-Steven squandered a good chance to increase that lead before the break but saw his shot deflected wide after rounding the Siroki Brijeg goalkeeper.

Aberdeen’s defensive problems were often self inflicted, possibly as a result of ring rustiness in their first game of their season but luckily their opponents often lacked sharpness themselves in front of goal, knocking two first-half chances wide.

After further bad misses from their two strikers, that good fortune finally disappeared when Markovic scored their precious away goal.

Mark Reynolds struggled at the back and the left-back hammered home from the edge of the penalty area, running on to the latest fine cross from Dino Coric.

Substitute Nicky Maynard then nearly made a dream Dons debut but the former MK Dons striker headed Graeme Shinnie’s perfect cross wide of the target.

Video

Details

Date Time Competition Season Full Time
13th July 2017 7:45 pm UEFA Europa League 2017/18 90'

Venue

Pittodrie Stadium
31 Pittodrie St, Aberdeen AB24, UK

Results

Team1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
Aberdeen101Draw
NK Široki Brijeg011Draw

Aberdeen KO 63 73 89 FT
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