Europa League Recap: Rijeka Finished Group Stage with Win, Undefeated Dinamo Topped CSKA 3:1

By 10 December 2020

December 10, 2020 - Rijeka closed out their Europa League campaign this season with a win against AZ Alkmaar, while Dinamo topped CSKA Moscow 3:1 at home and made European history. 

In the final 6th round of the Europa League on Thursday, Rijeka defeated AZ Alkmaar 2-1 (0-0) at Rujevica in Group F.

Rijeka took the lead with a goal by Menalo in the 52nd minute, but five minutes later, Wijndal equalized. Rijeka sealed their victory with a goal by Tomečak in the third minute of added time. The club bid farewell to the European competition until next season after finishing last in the group. 

Although the match was much more important for the Dutch club, whose victory ensured their passage to the next round, Rijeka was equally motivated on the pitch, even though they had long known that this would be the end.

In the second match of this group, Napoli and Real Sociedad played 1-1 (1-0) at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. Napoli led with a goal by Zielinski (35), and Willian Jose equalized in the second minute of added time. 

Napoli won first place in Group F with 11 points; Real Sociedad finished in second place with nine, AZ Alkmaar remained third with eight points, while Rijeka was last with four points.

In the later match on Thursday, Dinamo, who already won first place in Group K before the final round, defeated CSKA Moscow at Maksimir thanks to goals by Joško Gvardiol in the 28th minute, Mislav Orsic in the 41st, and Lirim Kastrati in the 74th. 

Dinamo was not without motive tonight, as they could have entered European football history as the first team to finish a Europa League group or a Champions League group without conceding a goal. Unfortunately, a late goal by CSKA's Bistrovic (74') cut their dream short.

However, Dinamo still made history tonight for going the longest in the Champions League or Europa League group stages without conceding a goal. Namely, Dinamo did not concede a goal for 527 minutes this season. Manchester United was the last club to hold the record, going 482 minutes without conceding a goal in the 2010/11 Champions League group stage.

In the second match of Group K, Wolfsberger AC defeated Feyenoord 1-0. 

Dinamo thus finished at the top of Group K, Wolfsberger finished in second, Feyenoord in third, and CSKA Moscow in the last place. 

The UEFA Europa League draw for the next round will be held in just a few days, on December 14.

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