Reuters

Everton claim win over Hajduk Split after delay for crowd trouble

Everton claim win over Hajduk Split after delay for crowd trouble
By Eurosport

17/08/2017 at 21:48Updated 17/08/2017 at 23:04

Europa League play-off round first leg - Everton 2 (Keane 30', Gueye 44') Hajduk Split 0

Everton clinched a 2-0 win over Hajduk Split in the first leg of their Europa League play-off in a match marred by crowd trouble including a delay.

Hajduk fans surged towards the Goodison Park pitch and hurled objects as the match had to be halted in the 33rd minute before being allowed to continue.

Play was temporarily stopped when the trouble flared and supporters moved towards the pitch shortly after Michael Keane's 30th-minute header had put the hosts in front.

After stewards and police had moved to bring the situation under control, the players returned to the pitch and Everton doubled their lead in the 45th minute thanks to Idrissa Gueye's strike.

Aside from the worrying scenes in the stands, Everton will be feeling very satisfied with this how this outing went ahead of next Thursday's second leg in Croatia.

Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak called the players off the pitch as a melee had broken out in the away section.

With some objects - including pieces of seat, it appeared - being hurled, advertising boards being kicked over and some supporters almost getting on the field, stewards and police swiftly moved over to the area en masse, forming a line around the section.

Stewards stand in front of Hajduk Split fans as Everton players watch on

Stewards stand in front of Hajduk Split fans as Everton players watch onReuters

The situation had calmed down sufficiently by a minute or so later for Kruzliak to allow play to continue, and Everton subsequently extended their lead just prior to the break through Gueye, who took a touch after being fed by Rooney before slotting past Dante Stipica.

Koeman's side go to Croatia next Thursday for the second leg with a strong advantage as they seek to guarantee their place in the Europa League group stage.

"I was really happy with the first half and unhappy about the second. We lost a big opportunity to score more goals," he said.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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