Omar El Kaddouri’s penalty proved enough for Torino to beat RNK Split 1-0 and reach the Europa League. The first leg ended 0-0 in Croatia, so only a victory would see the Granata go through to Europe after 20 years. Alessio Cerci was again dropped amid a bidding war on the transfer market, while Marcelo Larrondo was injured, so Paulo Vitor Barreto partnered Fabio Quagliarella. Toro started strong with an Omar El Kaddouri free kick saved and Marco Benassi turning over the bar. However, on 18 minutes Daniele Padelli was forced into a fantastic save on the Ivan Ibriks header. The hosts got their breakthrough when the referee considered an Ibriks handling offence to be voluntary and pointed to the spot, even though it bounced off his foot on to the arm. El Kaddouri stepped up and successfully converted the penalty. Benassi just failed to get on the end of a Quagliarella assist and wasted another golden opportunity, while the ex-Juventus striker aimed a trademark long-range lob under the bar, but was denied by Andrija Vukovic’s fingertips. Daniele Padelli was alert to beat away a dangerous Mate Bilic free kick and fortunate to see Denis Glavina’s volley skim the woodwork. Quagliarella tried another of his special tricks, missing by inches when controlling with one foot and shooting with the other. Straight after the restart Bilic hit the upright, but only after he had strayed offside on the counter from a Toro corner, Barreto forced a save and Josef Martinez’s first touch let him down when sent clear by Quagliarella. RNK stepped up the pressure in the closing stages, but struggled to create many real chances. Kamil Glik’s header was just over from a corner and Martinez won back possession to sprint at the Croatian defence, but his finish whistled inches wide. Deep into stoppages RNK took a corner with even the goalkeeper coming up, but Dario Rugasevic couldn’t find the target.
Football EUROPA LEAGUE