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.
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
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!
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