Rijeka - With VfB Stuttgart aiming to reach the group stage of the UEFA Europa League proper, the Swabians are in Croatia for the first leg of their third round qualifying play-off against HNK Rijeka tonight (kick-off 20:30 CET).

bundesliga.com will bring you the latest news as kick-off approaches, as well as LIVE updates throughout the encounter...

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HNK Rijeka: Vargic - Tomecak, Leskovic, Maric, Skarabot - Males - Zlomislic, Alispahic, Sharbini, Kvrzic - Benko

VfB Stuttgart: Ulreich - Sakai, Schwaab, Rüdiger, Molinaro - Boka, Gentner, Leitner - Cacau, Ibisevic, Harnik



Goals 2
RED:Benko 74', Kvrzic 87'
RED:Ibisevic 89'
Shots 7 24
Possession 39 % 61 %

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That concludes our LIVE coverage for the evening, thanks for joining us. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow night as Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen lock horns in the opening game of Matchday 4.

FULL TIME!: A franctic final few minutes fail to produce more goals. What a setback this is for Stuttgart, but Ibisevic's late strike could be crucial in the return leg.

89' GOAL!: But wait! Ibisevic taps in at the far post from Gentner's miscued shot to give Stuttgart a lifeline!

87' GOAL!: The sucker punch. Stuttgart are pushing for an equaliser and get hit with a textbook counterattack. Kvrzic finishing from close range after the visitors' defence was picked apart rather too easily. Stuttgart have a mountain to climb now.

82' The next big chance for the visitors. Ibisevic finds Maxim in the box. The Romanian cuts back onto his right foot not ten yards from goal, but his shot is blocked.

79' Nice response from Stuttgart. Ibisevic makes a near-post dash to connect with a left-wing cross and his delicate flick is heading for the top corner, but Vargic manages to hook clear. That was as close as Stuttgart have come all evening.

74' GOAL!: Oh dear, oh dear. Ivan Tomecak is given way too much space on the right and is allowed to cut inside onto his left foot. His floated cross catches the Stuttgart rearguard napping, with Gotoku Sakai arriving too late to prevent Benko heading in from close range.

69' On comes Alexandru Maxim for Cacau. The midfielder's got a nifty bag of tricks, so hopefully will be able to conjure something up against the tiring hosts.

65' At last. One of the goalkeepers is called into action! Vedad Ibisevic leaps to reach a header, but the ball is slightly too high and a touch too far behind him, meaning the Bosnian can't get any real power or direction behind his effort. Vargic is able to gather easily.

61'Harnik appears to be the most likely source of a goal for Stuttgart. He links up well with the fearsome Arthur Boka on the left and his jinking and shoulder-dipping are tying the defenders' legs in knots.

55' Despite his side not being able to find the net, coach Bruno Labbadia will be pleased with his side's defensive display. Whenever Stuttgart lose possession they chase back like a pack of snarling lions until they regain the ball again.

50'Stuttgart have dominated on the stats front all evening, but just haven't been able to make their presence felt in the final third. Still, a goalless draw away from home isn't a bad result to take back to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

SECOND HALF: The ball's rolling again down in Croatia and both teams seem to have recharged their batteries during the interval, as they're immediately rutting once more.

Grab yourself a brew as you settle in for the next 45 before checking out what the Bundesliga's other European representatives have done this week. Eintracht Frankfurt set themselves up nicely for their return fixture with a 2-0 win in Azerbaijan, but things weren't quite as rosy for FC Schalke 04 yesterday in their Champions League qualifier.

Here's how attacking midfielder Julian Draxler reacted to the 1-1 draw.

HALF TIME!: The referee blows for the interval and the players eagerly head towards the dressing rooms. It's been a gripping game so far, despite the lack of clear-cut chances.

42' It's been an intense first half and both sides now have an eye on their half-time rest and refreshments. Can't blame them really, but it's not making for much of a spectacle at the moment.

38' I hate to highlight Cacau's lack of match practice again, but he was a bit sluggish just then trying to get up to full speed. Fully fit he'd have been through on goal, but as it is, the defender nicks in o clear

33' Both teams are still fighting tooth and nail for every ball, but the breakneck speed of the encounter has inevitably died down somewhat. An unusually high proportion of players on both sides have ended up strewn on the pitch after a hefty challenge.

27' Lovely move from Stuttgart that. Martin Harnik collects the ball on the right wing and drives forward. The Austrian international plays a one-two on the edge of the box before smashing a left-footed shot just wide of the post.

23' You can't help but feel for veteran Stuttgart forward Cacau. After missing much of last season through injury, he's giving his all here tonight, but is getting a bit frustrated at his own rustiness.

18' Stuttgart need to be careful at the back. Rijeka have found a way to the byline on a handful of occasions now and are growing increasingly confident.

13' The furious pace of the game continues unabated, with both teams trading blows without seriously threatening to break the deadlock just yet.

6' The Croatians force the first chance of the game as Zlomislic finds Benko in the box, but his first-time effort is straight at Sven Ulreich.

KICK OFF!:Stuttgart are playing in red and immediately go on the front foot, sprinting forward all guns ablazing. But Rijeka are giving as good as they've got and are attacking with pace on the counter.

Kick-off - 5 mins Almost ready for kick-off in Croatia, as Stuttgart, led by Christian Gentner prepare to enter alongside Rijeka, led by their captain Luka Maric.

Kick-off - 10 mins The Kantrida, Rijeka's home ground is filling up for this Europa League third round qualifier. The winner over two legs takes its place in the group stage. VfB Stuttgart lost out to SSC Lazio in last season's round of 16 and will want to become the sixth German side to lift the famous trophy.

Kick-off - 15 mins The home side is unbeaten in the league this season, having won three and drawn three, while in Stuttgart's two Bundesliga games they haven't picked up a point. Read bundesliga.com's match preview here

Kick-off - 20 mins Hello and welcome to bundesliga.com's LIVE coverage of VfB Stuttgart's UEFA Europa League qualifier. Stick with us for the latest updates as the Swabians look to kick-start their season...