Champions League Qualifiers: Dinamo Zagreb Tops Saburtalo, Moves to 3rd Round

Daniela Rogulj

Dinamo Zagreb topped Georgian club Saburtalo both home and away to move to the next round of Champions League qualifications.

Dinamo overcame Georgian club Saburtalo 3:0 in the return match of the second Champions League qualifying round on Thursday, and thus went 5:0 overall to advance to the third qualifying round against Hungarian club Ferencvaros, reports on July 30, 2019.

In the first match in Tbilisi, Dinamo won 2:0, though the return match was much harder for the Zagreb club than expected. Not only did they have to play behind closed doors thanks to a UEFA ban, but the Georgian club had three great chances in the first half which could have potentially shocked the Croatian champion. 

Fortunately, Mislav Oršić cleared any doubts in the 77th minute for 1:0, while Bruno Petković confirmed the Dinamo victory in the 89th minute for 2:0. Interestingly, Oršić and Petković were also the goalscorers in Tbilisi. In the last moments of the match, Spanish superstar Dani Olmo also scored in his first appearance this season for the 3:0 win. 

Dinamo will play against Ferencvaros in the third qualifying round. The Hungarian club beat Valletta 3:1 in their first match in Budapest, while they finished 1:1 in Ta’Qali. 

The first match is scheduled for Tuesday in Zagreb, followed by the return match in Budapest.

Dinamo hosted Saburtalo behind closed doors as they served a UEFA punishment for using pyrotechnics, blocking the stairs and racist behavior during last season’s match against Benfica. Dinamo received a two-game ban, though one game is conditional and will be activated if Dinamo is punished again within a two-year period.

For the fifth time in the history of the club, Dinamo played in front of empty stands and achieved their second victory.

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