Thursday, 18 March 2021

What A Comeback: Dinamo Tops Tottenham in Extra Time for Historic Europa League Quarter-final Spot!

March 18, 2021 - In a wild comeback, Dinamo tops Tottenham thanks to an Oršić hattrick and books a spot in the Europa League quarterfinal! The match ended 3-0 after extra time at Maksimir Stadium on Thursday night. 

Croatian champions Dinamo met Premier League side Tottenham in the Europa League round of 16 return match at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday. In the first match in London, Tottenham won 2-0 with goals from Harry Kane.

Dinamo's backline changed compared to the first game. From the first minute, Franjić started instead of Leovac. On the other side, Son was not available to Jose Mourinho due to injury.

DINAMO: Livaković - Ristovski, Lauritsen, Theophile-Catherine, Franjić - Majer, Jakić, Ademi - Ivanušec, Petković, Oršić

TOTTENHAM: Lloris - Davies, Dier, Sanchez, Aurier - Winks, Sissoko - Moura, Alli, Lamela - Kane

After the Croatian Supreme Court upheld his verdict and imprisonment, Zoran Mamić resigned as coach of Dinamo earlier this week. Dinamo was thus led by former assistant Damir Krznar in tonight's match. 

Dinamo v. Tottenham Recap

Dinamo came out hungry to get a result that would keep them in the Europa League this season, which was evident from the start. However, there were not really dangerous opportunities from either side until the 30th-minute mark. 

The best chance of the match came from Lovro Majer who shot from the edge of the penalty area just outside the near post. One minute later, Dinamo threatened Tottenham's net again.

After two great opportunities for Dinamo, both sides calmed. Tottenham managed to win the ball again and keep possession. 

Tottenham's best chance came from Kane who was 1-on-1 with Livaković in the 44th minute, but the Dinamo goalkeeper acted brilliantly to keep the score level at the half. 

The second half saw no lineup changes. 

Dinamo's first attempt of the second half came in the 58th minute. Majer and Oršić saw their chances blocked, and Petković faked the Spurs defender only to shoot over the goal.

Gareth Bale was subbed on for Lamela two minutes later. 

Dinamo finally saw the back of the net in the 62nd minute - a stunning (and classic) Oršić shot from outside the box nailed the upper corner for the Dinamo lead! It was 1-0 with 28 minutes to go. 

Dinamo continued to attack in the remainder of the second half, giving Tottenham little chance of equalizing.

And then it happened - Atiemwen served Oršić who scored his second goal for 2-0 and extra time!

Leovac had a great chance for Dinamo in the 95th minute but served Gavranović a tough ball in front of the goal to keep the score even. Bale missed near post in the 102nd. 

The man of the hour started the second half of extra time with the unthinkable - Mislav Oršić scored a hattrick for 3-0 Dinamo! 

In the final minutes of extra time, a series of stellar saves by Livaković kept Dinamo ahead. A nail-biting ending, and the ref added two minutes of injury time. But Dinamo held on to win 3-0!

Dinamo will learn their quarter-final opponent after the Europa League draw tomorrow.

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

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Europa League Last 16: Tottenham Tops Dinamo 2:0 in London

March 11, 2021 - Tottenham tops Dinamo 2:0 in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 tonight in London.

The Croatian champion returned to Tottenham for the first time since 2008 when they lost 4:0 in Group D of the then Uefa Cup.

Jose Mourinho's side has been in great form lately with four consecutive championship victories and a 13:1 goal difference. Tottenham is now in the fight for the first four spots leading to the Champions League, which allowed Mourinho to rest some of his starters, even though Harry Kane and Heung-min Son began from the first minute on Thursday. Gareth Bale was on the bench.

Dinamo also came to London in great form and full of confidence after a great Europa League season thus far. Mamic's team finished the group stage undefeated and topped Krasnodar in the last 32. Zoran Mamić did not make significant changes to the starting 11.

Starting lineups

Tottenham: Lloris - Davies, Dier, Sanchez, Aurier - Ndombele, Alli, Sissoko - Son, Kane, Lamela

Dinamo: Livaković - Leovac, Theophile_Catherine, Lauritsen, Ristovski - Ivanušec, Ademi, Jakić, Majer - Oršić, Petković

Tottenham v Dinamo Recap

Dinamo entered the match with confidence, and even though Tottenham pressured Dinamo's defense more in the first 20 minutes, the Zagreb side held their own. 

That is, until the 25th minute, when Lamela danced through Dinamo's defense, hit the post, only for Kane to finish for 1:0 Tottenham. 

Tottenham ended the first half with 67% possession, though they had only two more shots than Dinamo (6/4), and Dinamo had more shots on goal (2/3). 

While Tottenham maintained their momentum at the start of the second half, Petković had Dinamo's best chance in the 59th minute, shooting just near post to keep Tottenham in the lead. 

Tottenham increased its lead in the 70th minute. Theophile-Catherine weakly cleared the ball out of the box to Kane who scored his second goal for 2:0. Dinamo was unable to come back. 

Dinamo and Tottenham will meet in the return match at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday, March 18. 

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

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Dinamo Zagreb Exit Europa League After Round of 16 Loss to Benfica

March 14, 2019 - Dinamo Zagreb and Benfica met in Lisbon at the legendary Luz stadium for the second leg of the Europa League round of 16. Recall, in the first match, Dinamo won 1:0 at Maksimir. 

Around 1,500 Dinamo fans traveled to Lisbon for the Europa League spectacle, and allegedly, a Torcida group could also be spotted at the stadium, as they are known to have good relations with Benfica fan group "No Name Boys”.

Dinamo coach Nenad Bjelica could not count on four players for tonight’s game. Namely, captain Arijan Ademi and Izet Hajrović were out due to injuries, while Ivan Šunjić and Marin Leovac were suspended for yellow cards. 

Dinamo played smart and with patience in the first half, and even had a few decent chances to score. Though they were unable to capitalize, the talk of the first half is definitely the controversy of the 22nd minute - should Dinamo have received a penalty? You can see for yourself below. 

The first half ended without goals, and the start of the second didn’t see the pace of the game change much. However, it was only a matter of time before Benfica picked up their game and reinstilled hope of advancing to the quarterfinals. 

And there it was, in the 71st minute - Jonas scored a somewhat awkward volley for 1:0. With no other goals and at an aggregate of 1:1, the game was forced into extra time.

In the 94th minute, Benfica took the lead with a rocket by Francisco Ferriera. Benfica led 2:0.

Dinamo had a chance to come back just moments later, though Gojak missed in front of an open goal to everyone's disbelief. The Zagreb side was fizzling. 

And then things took a turn for the worse - Dinamo's Stojanović was given a double-yellow for insulting the referee and was ejected from the game. Just minutes later, Grimaldo scored for Benfica. The game was now 3:0. 

Dinamo had another incredible chance in the 110th minute, though Atiemwen went wide of the goal. The game ended 3:0 for Benfica, who will move onto the quarterfinals. 

Dinamo has thus completed what was otherwise a brilliant Europa League campaign. 

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

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Europa League Round of 16: Dinamo Zagreb Defeats Benfica in First Leg!

March 7, 2019 - Dinamo Zagreb and Benfica met at Maksimir stadium on Thursday for the first leg of the Europa League round of 16. 

Friday, 22 February 2019

Europa League Last 16 Draw: Dinamo Zagreb to Play Benfica

Dinamo Zagreb will play against Benfica in the Europa League round of 16!