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Cedric salvages Betis point at Rijeka

HNK Rijeka 1-1 Real Betis Balompié
Cedric cancelled out Leon Benko's opener to earn a point for Pepe Mel's visitors, meaning both sides remain winless in Group I.

Cedric (centre) fired in the equaliser for Betis
Cedric (centre) fired in the equaliser for Betis ©AFP/Getty Images

Real Betis Balompié pegged back HNK Rijeka in Croatia to leave both sides winless after two Group I games.

The two teams were keen to make amends after failing to pick up three points in their opening matches, and it was the hosts who took the initiative through Leon Benko's tenth-minute volley. Cedric responded soon after but neither side was able to engineer a winner, meaning a first point for Rijeka in a UEFA group stage campaign ahead of their double-header with Olympique Lyonnais.

After suffering their heaviest defeat in European competition at Vitória SC on matchday one, Matjaž Kek's men had a point to prove and started at full throttle. Benko has been on hot form in domestic competition, scoring eight goals in ten league games, and he showed his finishing prowess after Ivan Tomečak had skipped inside his marker on the right before drilling a cross to the back post for the forward to smash in a volley.

The hosts failed to consolidate the advantage and four minutes later were punished for failing to clear their lines. Three opportunities to rid their final third of the ball were wasted, allowing Cedric to slam in from the edge of the area when possession was presented to the winger.

The Congolese attacker was then denied by Ivan Vargić twice before the break, while Benko overhit a cross on the counter with Ivan Krstanović completely unmarked in the centre. Benko had a goalbound shot blocked by a flying Betis body just after the interval and a Salvador Sevilla cross evaded a pack of advancing attackers inside the home area, but the elusive winner never arrived.

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