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

Daniela Rogulj

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. 

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