Europa League Round of 32: Viktoria Plzen Better than Dinamo in First Leg

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Dinamo Zagreb and Viktoria Plzen met in the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday night in the Czech Republic.

Dinamo Zagreb was unlucky against Viktoria Plzen who won 2:1 at home on Thursday. It was, however, a historic game for the Zagreb club who saw their first appearance in the spring part of a Europa League in 49 years, reports on February 14, 2019. 

Dinamo led at the end of the first half and controlled the match for the most part, but two mistakes in the second half cost them two goals. Both goals were scored by Ludek Pernica, a stopper who made his way into the starting lineup after Lukas Heid fell out due to an injury in a league game.

Dinamo led in the 41st minute with a brilliant goal by Dani Olmo after an excellent assist by Bruno Petković. Viktoria equalized in the 54th minute, and then took the lead in the 83rd minute.

Dinamo has advanced past Czech clubs twice in Europe so far, though they have fallen once. Recall, Dinamo played Sparta in the 1st round of the UEFA Cup in 2008 and Rudá Hvezda Brno in the quarterfinals of the Cup of Nations in 1960, while they fell to FK Dukla Prague in the Champions Cup in 1958.

Unfortunately, before the game in Plzen, there was a conflict between Dinamo fan group Bad Blue Boys and the Czech police. About two hours before the start of the match, the Czech police met some 1,500 Dinamo fans, though only 400 of them had tickets.

Unhappy that they were not allowed into the stadium, the Bad Blue Boys attacked some of the security and police officers by throwing flares at them. Thankfully, the Czech police arrived quickly, and the situation calmed after 15 minutes.

Dinamo last played a ‘European spring’ in 1969/70 when they plunged into the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners’ Cup where they lost to Schalke. 

This season, Dinamo won first place in Group D ahead of Fenerbahçe, Spartak Trnava and Anderlecht. In the six games, they achieved four wins, and two draws with a score of 11: 3.

Viktoria entered the Europa League after falling out of the Champions League where they took third place in Group G behind Real Madrid and Roma, and ahead of CSKA Moscow.

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