Wednesday, 14 September 2022

AC Milan Takes 3 Points Against Dinamo Zagreb at San Siro Stadium

September 14, 2022 - AC Milan beat Dinamo in the second round of the Champions League Group E. The Italian champion defeated the Croatian champion 3:1 at San Siro Stadium. 

The Italian champion led 2:0 with goals from Olivier Giroud in the 45th minute and Alexis Saelemaekers in the 47th minute. After a great action with Petković, Mislav Oršić reduced the score to 1:2 in the 56th minute, but Tommaso Pobega brought Milan back in the 77th for 3:1. 

At the beginning of the game, Milan quickly tried to gain an early advantage, closing the Croatian champion into their penalty area. However, apart from Olivier Giroud's shot in the ninth minute, there were no dangerous shots for Livaković.

The game was pretty equal, though Milan had better chances. In the 28th minute, Moharrami tried to score, and Mislav Oršić came even closer to the goal in the 36th minute. 

Milan could have taken the lead in the 21st minute, but Moharrami reacted well before Rafael Leao and prevented a goal. Milan also tried a long-range shot without success. 

Milan took the lead before halftime, and in the last moments of the first half, the referee called a foul on Josip Šutalo for a Milan penalty. Giroud scored for 1:0 Milan.

At the start of the second half, Rafael Leao broke through the left side with ease, crossed, and found Alexis Saelemaekers, who headed under the crossbar for 2:0.

Dinamo came back into the game in the 56th minute after a great action by Oršić and Petković. Petković deceived Milan's defense, and Oršić scored for 2:1. 

Milan scored again in the 77th minute when Pobega fiercely scored from ten meters for 3:1.

With this victory, Milan takes first place in the group with four points. Dinamo has three points, while RB Salzburg is third with one point and a game in hand, and Chelsea is last with zero. 

Dinamo will visit RB Salzburg next on October 5 when Milan visits Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Dinamo Shocks Chelsea in Zagreb to Kick Off Champions League Campaign

 September 6, 2022 - Dinamo beat Chelsea 1-0 in the first round of the Champions League Group E at Maksimir Stadium in front of 20,607 spectators.

Dinamo Zagreb opened their eighth appearance in the Champions League group stage at Maksimir stadium with a victory against former European and English champions Chelsea. The deciding goal was scored by Mislav Oršić in the 13th minute.

Chelsea won direct placement in the Champions League after finishing third place in the Premier League last season. The Croatian champion played three qualifying rounds to secure a place among the European football elite. They clinched a spot in the group stage after beating Bodo/Glimt. 

Chelsea took the initiative from the first minute, but it didn't take long for Dinamo to answer back. In the 13th minute, Dinamo countered and converted the attack into a goal by Mislav Oršić.

The action started with Robert Ljubičić, who sent a long ball to Bruno Petković. Bruno passed it to Oršić, who dribbled past Wesley Fofana, a new Chelsea player who arrived from Leicester City for 82 million euros. Oršić ran about 50 meters and beat goalkeeper Kepa for 1:0!

Chelsea equalized in the 48th minute, but Aubameyang's goal was ultimately called offside. In the 56th minute, Dinamo was one step closer to a second goal, but Stefan Ristovski's fantastic shot hit the crossbar.

Reece James also hit the post in the 85th minute. Mateo Kovačić played for Chelsea until the 59th minute.

RB Salzburg and Milan meet in the second match from this group at 21:00.

Dinamo plays their next Champions League match on Wednesday, September 14, at San Siro against Milan. 

Lineups

DINAMO: Livaković - Ristovski, Perić, J. Šutalo - Moharrami, Mišić, Ademi, Ljubičić - Ivanušec - Petković, Oršić

CHELSEA: Arrizabalaga - Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Fofana - James, Kovačić, Mount, Chilwell - Havertz, Sterling - Aubameyang

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Bodo/Glimt Better than Dinamo in Champions League Play-off First Leg

August 16, 2022 - Bodo/Glimt narrowly beats Dinamo 1:0 in Norway on Tuesday night in the first leg of the Champions League play-off round. 

Bodo/Glimt and Dinamo met in Bodo, Norway, on Tuesday night in the first of the last two battles to enter the Champions League. Aspmyra Stadium, which holds 8,300 spectators, was said to be nearly sold out.

Bodo/Glimt is the only obstacle between Dinamo and the elite football competition, which guarantees around 20 million euros. Dinamo says they have already achieved their first goal, which is playing in the Europa League group stage, but we all know the Champions League is the ultimate goal for any club. 

Bodo/Glimt is undoubtedly a dangerous opponent and was a hit in the last European season, meaning this match would be anything but easy. However, Dinamo was coming off of a 4:1 victory against their eternal rival Hajduk, which should have boosted their morale going into Tuesday's play-off. 

Lineups

BODO/GLIMT: Haikin – Wembangomo, Amundsen, Hoibraaten, Sampsted – Vetlesen, Hagen, Saltnes – Mvuka Mugisha, Salvesen, Pellegrino

DINAMO: Livaković – Ristovski, Šutalo, Lauritsen, Ljubičić – Ademi, Mišić – Špikić, Baturina, Oršić – Drmić

Match report

Bodo's first attempt of the match came in the 6th minute but was blocked by Dinamo's defense. Dinamo's first chance came a minute later when Drmić shot over the goal from the edge of the penalty area. A dangerous Bodo cross went into the box a minute after that but was cleared again by Dinamo's defense.

Bodo was hungry for a goal at the start of the first half and had their first shot on target in the 14th minute. Livaković was concentrated and easily defended the attempt. It had been a tough match so far without any major chances. 

Oršić shot from 25 meters in the 23rd minute, which went out for a Dinamo corner.

By the 36th minute, the possession was 51:49.

We saw the first goal of the match in the 37th minute. Pellegrino headed easily shot past Livaković for 1:0 Bodo. They also had a dangerous free kick from 22 meters out two minutes later, and hit the crossbar just a few minutes after that. 

It was 1:0 for Bodo at the half. 

Ivanušec and Petković entered the match for Drmić and Špikić to start the second half. 

Pellegrino had a golden opportunity in the 54th minute, which went just wide of the goal. 

Dinamo started picking up the pace nearing the 60th minute and pressed Bodo's defense. Petkovic had a chance that went a hair over the crossbar. 

Orsic had a chance in the next play and shot just wide of the far post. 

Orsic played through to Petkovic in the penalty area in the 63rd minute, but the Bodo keeper got to the ball first. 

Bodo was in Dinamo's half for the following five minutes and was lucky not to increase their lead. 

Bodo made their first sub in the 68th minute - Espejord entered for Slavesen. Dinamo subbed on Emreli for Orsic.

Dinamo scored from the offside position in the 71st minute, keeping the match at 1:0. 

Dinamo countered in the 73rd minute, which ended in no shot on goal, and Bodo had taken their 10th corner of the match a minute later. 

Gojak was subbed on for Baturina in the 77th minute, and Bodo's Grunbek and Koomson entered for Hagen and Mvuka Mugisha in the 81st minute. 

Petkovic missed the best chance of the game in the 86th minute. Petkovic dribbled the Bodo defense and found himself one-on-one with the Bodo keeper but shot over the goal! 

The ref added three minutes of stoppage time to the end in which neither team was able to score. The match ended 1:0 for Bodo and the return match will be played next week at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.  

Post-match interview

More soon... 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Dinamo Books Champions League Play-off Spot against Bodø/Glimt!

August 9, 2022 - Dinamo Zagreb advances to the Champions League play-off round against Bodø/Glimt! The Zagreb club won 4:2 at Maksimir on Tuesday night against Ludogorets (6-3 aggregate).

Dinamo played the second leg of the Champions League 3rd round qualifiers at Maksimir Stadium against Bulgarian club Ludogorets. Dinamo won 2:1 away in the first leg. Estimates are that around 15,000 fans were at Maksimir on Tuesday night. 

By advancing past Ludogorets, Dinamo secures their spot in the Champions League play-off against Norwegian club FK Bodo/Glimt. And that's not all - securing at least the Europa League group stage means 7.17 million euros in Dinamo's bank account. 

Lineups

Dinamo: Livaković - Ristovski, B. Šutalo, Perić, Ljubičić - Mišić, Ademi - Špikić, Baturina, Oršić - Drmić

Ludogorets: Sluga - Cicinho, Verdon, Plastun, Nedyalkov - Yankov, Piotrowski, Cafunama - Rick, Igor Thago, Despodov

Match report

Dinamo's first good opportunity came already in the 4th minute. Ademi shot from 13 meters, but Croatian goalkeeper Simon Sluga defended for Ludogorets, resulting in a corner for Dinamo.

But it didn't take long for Dinamo to get comfortable. Josip Drmić scored with a header in the 12th minute for 1:0. 

A sense of calm swept over Dinamo after Jankov was sent off with his second yellow card in the 18th minute, forcing Ludogorets to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. And not even 10 minutes later? Dinamo was awarded a penalty when Nedjalkov clipped Špikić from behind. Oršić scored for 2:0 in the 27th minute. 

Ludogorets was mostly helpless for the remainder of the first half, with Dinamo pressing and using their extra-player advantage to tire out the Bulgarian club. And then Dinamo did it again - Oršić dribbed through the Ludogorets defense and nailed the far post for 3:0 Dinamo with just a minute to go in the first half. 

Ludogorets reduced the score to 3:1 when Despodov scored in stoppage time. It was 3:1 for Dinamo at the half.

The second half started with changes for Dinamo. Mišić, Ristovski and Baturina were subbed off and Ivanušec, Gojak and Moharrami entered the match. 

A penalty was awarded to Ludogorets in the 49th minute, and Despodov scored again to bring the result to 3:2. 

Drmić was subbed off in the 70th minute, and Petković entered the match. 

Another blow for the Bulgarian club came in the 73rd minute. Rick received his second yellow card for a foul on Spikic and was sent off, forcing Ludogorets to play with two men down. 

And then a chance for Dinamo's 4th goal came in the 84th minute when a penalty was called for Dinamo. Petkovic scored for 4:2 and Ludogorets received yet another red card, bringing them down 8 players to finish the match! 

And the red cards didn't stop for Ludogorets there - the president of the club was sent into the tunnel in the 88th minute! 

The ref added 5 minutes of stoppage time, in which neither team scored. Dinamo thus won 4:2 with a 6-3 aggregate and advances to the Champions League play-off against Norwegian club Bodo/Glimt! 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Dinamo Tops Shkupi for Spot in Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round

July 26, 2022 - Dinamo advanced to the Champions League 3rd qualifying round after beating Shkupi on a 3-2 aggregate on Tuesday. After 2-2 in Zagreb, Dinamo won in Skopje with a minimal 1-0.

The match and overall winner were decided early in the second half. In the 47th minute, Dinamo's captain Arijan Ademi was the only scorer in Skopje. In the 3rd qualifying round, Dinamo will play against the Bulgarian champion Ludogorets.

Dinamo opened the match a bit slow, but it didn't take long for the Croatian champion to start threatening Shkupi's goal. Ivanušec and Špikić tried first in the 13th minute, and Bruno Petković found himself in an even better situation with a header five minutes later. Shkupi was dangerous in the 21st minute but couldn't find the back of the net. 

By the end of the first half, Dinamo still had two great opportunities and wholly dominated the first 45 minutes. In the 35th minute, Špikić had a great chance, and in the 41st, Shkupi was even closer to the goal. Petković was alone in front of the goal in stoppage time, but the first half ended 0-0. 

Dinamo took the lead at the start of the second half when Luka Menalo assisted Ademi, putting them ahead 1-0! 

Three minutes later, Menalo's goal was called offside. Petković and Menalo worked to score a second goal, but Shkupi remained solid in defense to deny the Croatian champion.

Dinamo worked hard to stay ahead and avoid the match going into extra time. They ultimately succeeded as the match ended 1-0. 

In the Champions League 3rd qualifying round, Dinamo will play against the Bulgarian champion Ludogorets. After 3-0 at home, Ludogorets lost 1-2 to Irish club Shamrock Rovers. Ludogorets played almost the entire second half with a man down. 

On August 2, Dinamo will first visit Bulgaria, while the second leg will be played at Maksimir Stadium one week later. 

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Champions League 2nd Qualifying Round: Dinamo and Shkupi Draw 2:2 at Maksimir

July 19, 2022 - In the first leg of the Champions League 2nd qualifying round, Dinamo and Shkupi draw 2:2 at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. 

Dinamo had their first European test of the season tonight against the champion of North Macedonia, Shkupi. The two teams met at Maksimir Stadium at 21:00 for the Champions League 2nd qualifying round. 

Dinamo entered tonight's match as big favorites. According to Transfermarkt, the North Macedonian champion is worth only 5.5 million euros, while the Croatian champion is valued at 100.5 million.

The match was refereed by 39-year-old Romanian Rad Petrescu.

The starting lineups saw Dinamo coach Ante Čačić leave Mislav Oršić on the bench.

Lineups

Dinamo: Livaković - Moharrami, J. Šutalo, Perić, Ljubičić - Mišić, Ademi - Špikić, Petković, Ivanušec - Drmić

Shkupi: Naumovski - Brdarovski, Dzelil, Margvelashvili, Sheji - Putita, Faustin, Alvarez - Hamidi, Danfa, Adetunji

Match report

Dinamo's first real chance came in the 10th minute. Perić crossed, and Petković chested to Ademi, who shot ten meters over the goal. Dinamo used their first sub in the 17th minute as Theophile entered for an injured Josip Šutalo. 

Dinamo was shocked in the 25th minute. A big mistake by the defense between Mišić and Theophile saw Queven take advantage and shot past Livaković for 0:1. 

Dinamo had a few more chances but didn't equalize until the 44th minute. Ademi scored off a Moharrami cross for 1:1 at the half. 

The second half started with one change - Menalo entered instead of Špikić

Ljubičić had a chance in the 49th minute but shot near post. Oršić was subbed on for Drmić in the 64th minute. 

Ademi was shown a yellow card in the 72nd minute for simulation after diving in the penalty area. 

Dinamo continued to have chances in the second half and was relentlessly attacking Shkupi's goal. Bruno Petković finally scored to put Dinamo ahead at 2:1 in the 86th minute.

But the euphoria didn't last long. A quick attack and a volley over Livaković saw Shkupi equalize at 2:2 in the 89th minute, which is how the match ended. 

The second leg will be played away on Tuesday, July 26, at 21:00. 

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

 

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Croatian Clubs Learn First Champions League and Conference League Opponents

June 15, 2022 - Croatian clubs have learned their opponents in the upcoming Champions League and Conference League season. A look at what Dinamo, Hajduk, Osijek, and Rijeka have in store. 

In the second qualifying round of the Champions League, Croatian football champion Dinamo will play against the winner of the first qualifying round between North Macedonian club Shkupi and Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar. The draw was held in Nyon on Wednesday. 

Dinamo will host the first match, which will take place on July 19 or 20. The return match will be played on July 26 or 27. Dinamo thus avoided the Swiss champion Zurich and Slovan from Bratislava.

Dinamo will be the leader through all preliminary rounds. If they are successful in the second qualifying round, they are automatically guaranteed to play in the Conference League group stage, while entering the Champions League play-offs guarantees them the Europa League group stage. 

Later in the day, Osijek and Rijeka found out their rivals in the second qualifying round of the Conference League, while Hajduk will join the competition in the third qualifying round.

Osijek will play against Kyzylzhar from Kazakhstan, while Rijeka will play against the Swedish Djurgarden in the 2nd qualifying round of the Conference League.

The first matches will be played on Thursday, July 21, and the return matches one week later, on July 28.

This means that Osijek will play the first game in Kazakhstan, and play the return match at City Garden a week later, while Rijeka will play the first game at Rujevica.

The Kazakh championship is underway, and Osijek's rival is currently in 11th place. The Swedish Championship is also underway and Djurgarden is currently in fourth place.

Hajduk Split will start the competition in the 3rd qualifying round and learn their opponent only in July. Hajduk gathered for their first preseason training today. 

Coach Valdas Dambrauskas answered questions from numerous media representatives who came to see Hajduk at the training session held at Poljud Stadium.

"We did a good job last season, but we have to prepare for the future. Yes, we play for trophies, we play to make people happy and to have reasons to celebrate, but from today we have to talk about the next games, training, and meetings. What we have done is a part of the past. It is important for the club, but it remains in the past. We need to focus on the new season and new challenges and prepare to be in the best position to win," said Dambrauskas 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Croatian Footballer to Play in Champions League Final for 11th Consecutive Season!

May 5, 2022 - Croatia continues its impressive Champions League final series. For the eleventh year in a row, Croatia will have a representative in the Champions League final, confirming it is a superpower in the European football world. 

But just how rare is this feat? 24 Sata reports that apart from Croatia, only Brazil, Spain and France had players in the last ten Champions League finals!

After Real Madrid beat Man City in extra time on Wednesday night's semifinal, Croatia captain Luka Modrić locked his spot in his fifth Champions League final. Luka has also won in all four so far - twice against Atletico, once against Juventus, and once against Liverpool. If he wins with Madrid in Paris on May 28, he will take home his 20th trophy with the Royal club. 

The last final without a Croatian footballer was in 2011 between Guardiola's Barcelona and Ferguson's Manchester United at Wembley. After that, a series started: Ivica Olić 2012, Mario Mandžukić 2013, Luka Modrić 2014, Ivan Rakitić 2015, Luka Modrić 2016, Luka Modrić and Mario Mandžukić 2017, Luka Modrić and Dejan Lovren 2018, Dejan Lovren 2019, Ivan Perišić 2020, Mateo Kovačić 2021, Luka Modrić 2022.

Out of 19 Croatian footballers in the Champions League final, 11 of them have celebrated the title. 

The first was Josip Pirmajer (for Partizan in the 2-1 defeat in 1966 against Real Madrid) and Ivan Ćurković (defended for St. Etienne in the loss to Bayern in 1976).

Ivan Iko Buljan, the legendary Hajduk footballer, was a member of the trophy generation of HSV, which reached the final in 1980 and lost to Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The first Croatian to become the European champion was Robert Prosinečki, who defeated Marseille (5-3, 0-0) with Red Star in Bari in 1991 after penalties. Prosinečki was the first to take the shot and was accurate from the penalty spot.

Alen Bokšić won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993, when they celebrated against Milan 1-0 with a goal by Basile Boli. Bokšić also played against Juventus in the final in 1997 and lost at the same Olympic Stadium in Munich (3-1). 

Zvonimir Boban lifted the Champions League trophy in 1994 when Milan beat Barcelona in the final (4-0). A year later Boban played the final with Milan but lost to Ajax.

Davor Šuker had a great summer when Croatia won bronze at the 1998 World Cup and he took home the Golden Boot in France. That spring, Real became European champion for the seventh time. The winning goal against Juventus (1-0) was scored by Predrag Mijatović in the 66th minute. In the 89th he was replaced by Šuker.

Dario Šimić spent his best football years at Inter and Milan. Milan played in three Champions League finals while Šimić was on the team, though he did not play in any of the finals. 

Igor Tudor was a solid link in the Juventus defense in the 2002/2003 season, in which they reached the Champions League final. In the semifinal, they knocked out the mighty Real, which marked the end of an era. Juventus played 0-0 against Milan in the final at Old Trafford and then lost on penalties. Tudor played until the 42nd minute when he was injured and Birindelli came on.

Dado Pršo and Monaco managed to advance to the final in 2004, where Mourinho's Porto (3-0) became famous, having also won the Europa League a year earlier. Pršo will still remember the four goals he scored in the group, in Monaco's 8-3 victory against Deportivo.

Igor Bišćan experienced the most incredible Champions League final when Liverpool came back from 0-3 against Milan in 2005 and celebrated after penalties. Bišćan, despite his significant role that season and excellent quarterfinals against Juventus and semifinals against Chelsea, watched the game from the box. Benitez did not include him in the team for the final.

Three Croatians were part of the Bayer Leverkusen side that reached the Champions League final at Hampden Park in 2002 and lost to Real Madrid 2-1 after Zinedine Zidane scored his most famous goal to win. Boris Živković played the whole match. Marko Babić entered the first minute of extra time in the final against Real. The third Croat in Bayer's squad was Jurica Vranješ, but he did not enter the game in the final.

Ivica Olić played two Champions League finals with Bayern: 2010 against Inter (0-2) and 2012 against Chelsea, but never won. Moreover, at the Allianz Arena against Chelsea, Olić missed a penalty in the shootout. Chelsea won 5-4 (1-1). Danijel Pranjic was on Bayern's lineup sheet in two finals, 2010 against Inter (0-2) and 2012 against Chelsea (4-5 - 1-1), but did not play.

The only Croatian to score a goal in the Champions League final for two clubs is Mario Mandžukić. In the German final between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in 2013, Mario scored the first goal in the 2-1 victory. In 2017 he played in the final and scored for Juventus in the 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid with a stunning half-scissor kick.

Luka Modrić, on the other hand, is the only Croatian footballer to have won the Champions League four times. Real beat Atletico 4-1 in the 2014 final and again in 2016 after penalties. They beat Juventus in 2017 4-1 and Liverpool 3-1 in 2018.

In 2015, Ivan Rakitić scored the first goal in Barcelona's 3-1 victory against Juventus.

In the 2016 final against Atletico, Mateo Kovačić remained in the stands, and in 2017 and 2018 on the Real bench. Last season he went to the final with Chelsea, kicking out Real. He entered the match in 2021 in the 80th minute.

Dejan Lovren played for Liverpool against Real in Kyiv in 2018 and assisted in their 3-1 defeat.

In Lisbon in 2020, Bayern beat PSG 1-0, and Ivan Perišić played from the 68th minute.

Croatians in Champions League finals:

  • 1993. Alen Bokšić (Marseille)
  • 1994. Zvonimir Boban (Milan)
  • 1995. Zvonimir Boban (Milan)
  • 1997. Alen Bokšić (Juventus)
  • 1998. Davor Šuker (Real Madrid)
  • 2002. Boris Živković, Marko Babić, Jurica Vranješ (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • 2003. Dario Šimić (Milan), Igor Tudor (Juventus)
  • 2004. Dado Pršo (Monaco)
  • 2005. Igor Bišćan (Liverpool)
  • 2007. Dario Šimić (Milan)
  • 2010. Ivica Olić, Danijel Pranjić (Bayern)
  • 2012. Ivica Olić, Danijel Pranjić (Bayern)
  • 2013. Mario Mandžukić (Bayern)
  • 2014. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
  • 2015. Ivan Rakitić (Barcelona)
  • 2016. Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid)
  • 2017. Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid), Mario Mandžukić, Marko Pjaca (Juventus)
  • 2018. Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić (Real Madrid), Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)
  • 2019. Dejan Lovren (Liverpool)
  • 2020. Ivan Perišić (Bayern)
  • 2021. Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea)

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 18 March 2022

Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić to Meet in Champions League Quarterfinals

March 18,  2022 - Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić will meet in the Champions League quarterfinals as Real Madrid and Chelsea face off next month. 

The draw for the Champions League quarterfinals was held today at the headquarters of the European Football Federation (UEFA) in Nyon.

The draw was open and there were no seeded teams or “protected” pairs. Any team could be drawn against any other team.

Certainly one of the most interesting pairs is the clash between the current European champions Chelsea and the most trophy-winning European club Real Madrid. It will be a clash between two of Croatia's best footballers - Luka Modrić and Mate Kovačić. Last season, Chelsea and Real Madrid met in the semifinals and the English club advanced with a 3:1 aggregate. 

Manchester City will play against Atletico Madrid, Villarreal will meet Bayern, while Benfica will play against Liverpool.

The semifinal pairs were also drawn immediately. The winner of the Manchester City - Atletico Madrid match will play against the winner of the Chelsea and Real Madrid match. 

In the second semifinal, the winners of Benfica - Liverpool, and Villarreal - Bayern Munich will play.

England (Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea) and Spain (Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Villarreal) will have three clubs in the quarterfinals, and Germany (Bayern) and Portugal (Benfica) will have one each.

Five Croatian footballers remain in the competition - Luka Modrić (Real), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Šime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid), and Bayern's reserves Josip Stanišić and Gabriel Vidović.

The first quarterfinal matches are scheduled for April 5 and 6, and the return matches are on April 12 and 13. The semifinals are on April 26 and 27, and the return matches are on May 3 and 4. The final is on May 28 at the Stade de France in Paris.

After the Champions League draw, the draw for the Europa League quarterfinals and semifinals follows from 13:30.

The eight best clubs in the Europa League are from Germany (Eintracht and Leipzig), and Italy (Atalanta), Spain (Barcelona), Portugal (Braga), France (Lyon), Scotland (Rangers), and England (West Ham) will have one representative each in the quarterfinals.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Champions League Playoffs: Dinamo Loses to Sheriff, Moves to Europa League

August 25, 2021 - Dinamo loses to Sheriff in the Champions League playoffs and will compete in the Europe League competition instead. 

Dinamo failed to qualify for the Champions League group stage after playing 0:0 against Sheriff in the return match of the playoffs in Zagreb. Sheriff won the first leg 3:0 in Tiraspol.

Dinamo failed to make up for the three-goal deficit, and the Moldovan club thus qualified for the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Dinamo did not find a way to break through the Sheriff's defense led by goalkeeper Athanasiadis, whom Dinamo failed to get by in both matches.

Sheriff unexpectedly started attacking from the first minute, and in the 4th minute, Thill hit the post.

Dinamo had their first chance only after ten minutes. However, Ivanušec missed a good opportunity, and Petković's attempts were defended by the Moldovan goalkeeper Athanasiadis, and the teams went into halftime without goals. 

Sheriff's goalkeeper defended Oršić's shot in the 52nd minute, after which the match calmed down completely. Dinamo's attacks could not penetrate Sheriff's defense.

"We did our best, but we failed. I’m sorry to the wonderful fans, but hopefully, there will be a win in the Europa League. We knew we had to put more pressure than in the first game, but Sheriff deserved the Champions League," Duje Cop said after the game.

Mislav Oršić thanked the fans for their support.

"I don't know what to say; it's hard to analyze the game. They were better; that’s the only thing that matters. After that, we have to turn to the Europa League, and the HNL," said Oršić.

"We reached the last third, but in the end, there was always something missing," added Dinamo's winger.

"Maybe someone will say that this is a failure, but we are in the Europa League in which we did great things last year," concluded Oršić.

Daniele Orsato from Italy refereed in front of 8,100 spectators at the Maksimir Stadium.

Source: HRT

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