LEEDS UNITED, their hopes of winning the League Championship gone, seek the consolation of reaching the European Cup-winners’ Cup Final when they meet Yugoslav club Hajduk in Split today. If Leeds win the trophy, they will compete again next season as holders, allowing Sunderland to enter, irrespective of the result of next Saturday’s F.A. Cup Final at Wembley.
So although Sunderland and Leeds will be rivals at Wembley, Roker Park enthusiasts will wish the Yorkshiremen success tonight. However the semi-final second leg will prove a tough test for Leeds, for they have only a slim 1–0 lead from the first leg and will be without top scorer Allan Clarke.
Sent off in the first match, at Elland Road, Clarke is ruled out of today’s game and the final in Salonika on May 16.
Hajduk have not conceded a goal at home in this season’s competition, and they will have fanatical local support. Manager Branko Zebac admitted, though: “A one-goal advantage is considerable for a team like Leeds. We must play even better in Split that at Elland Road if we are to win.”
Hajduk have not done well in the domestic front this season – they are 13th of 18 teams in the Yugoslav First Division, and lost 2–0 to the bottom club, Sutjeska on Sunday.
They will be strengthened today by the return of international captain Dragan Holcer, who is fit again after a leg injury, but goalkeeper Ratomir Vukcevic failed a fitness test yesterday.
GILES MAY RETURN
Johnny Giles will probably be back in action for Leeds following a calf strain. With several others suffering from minor injuries, they have included 18-year-old Frankie Gray, who made his league debut last Saturday, in their squad of 15.
Ajax Amsterdam, the world and European club champions, take a 2–1 lead into their European Cup semi-final second leg against Real Madrid. The winners meet either Derby County or Juventus.
In Enschede, Holland, Twente Enschedek and Borussia Moenchengladbach meet to decide who will play either Tottenham Hotspur or Liverpool in the U.E.F.A. Cup final. Barring a real shock, it will be Borussia who won the first leg 3–0.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on April 25 1973.