Forutnately, no Croatian side lost in their third round qualifying matches for Europa League tonight.
PSV Eindhoven v. NK Osijek (0:1)
Osijek celebrated a win in Eindhoven for their first-leg match of the third qualifying round of Europa League, shocking many disbelievers of the Croatian side. Zoran Zekić’s team played a match full of heart, finally celebrating a goal by Borna Barišić in the 57th minute, reports Goal.hr on July 27, 2017.
PSV dominated and maintained possession of the ball for most of the match, but in the end, Osijek was equal and even better with their attempts to strike in the box. Zekić’s tactical coaching throughout the match led the team to achieve a positive result in one of the biggest matches in the club’s history.
Osijek had the first chance of the match when Mudrazija fired over the post in the 20th minute. In the 38th minute, Barać was forced to block a close blow by PSV’s de Jong, making for one of the most dangerous moments for Osijek’s defense. But in the 57th minute, Osijek would decide the fate of the match with a goal by Barišić. The final result was 0:1 for the Croatian side.
Brøndby v. Hajduk (0:0)
Hajduk coach Joan Carrillo spoke of the ideal situation being Hajduk taking the lead 4:0 at half before today’s meeting in Brøndbyvester, but after the final whistle blew in the match between Brøndby and Hajduk, there was not a single goal in sight. The team that will advance further in Europa League will be decided next week at Poljud, reports Goal.hr on July 27, 2017.
The start of the match looked promising, and Hajduk supporters did not have to wait long before their first real opportunity. In the 11th minute, Vlašić found Savvas who sent a 16-meter shot towards Brøndby’s goal, but in the end, the shot was stopped by the Brøndby defense.
Shortly after in the 14th minute, Brøndby’s Crone threatened Hajduk’s net, and just four minutes later, Stipica was forced to save a strike by Mukhtar.
Futacs threatened Brøndby’s defense a few times by the end of the half, but Rønnow was quick (and aggressive) to stop all of his attempts.
Regardless of the strong start, the first part of the encounter was far from enjoyable to watch. Still struggling in the second half, Tudor received an injury in the 70th minute, with Erceg following the same fate moments later. The only real excitement in the second half came in the 93rd minute when Brøndby’s Arajuuri received a second yellow after fouling Futacs for the umpteenth time. The red card now excludes Arajuuri from the match at Poljud.
The few minutes left in the match gave Hajduk little time to take advantage of playing a man up, leaving the fate of who advances in the hands of Poljud.
Dinamo v Odd (2:1)
Dinamo entered the third qualifying round of Europa League before 7,080 spectators at Maksimir tonight, defeating Odd from Norway (2:1), reports Goal.hr on July 27, 2017. Dinamo proved they were the better team and had better quality than the Norwegians, but the result is certainly more satisfying for the guests who achieved an away goal at Maksimir.
Odd took the lead at Maksimir with a strike by Mladenovic in the 20th minute, but just 11 minutes later, Dinamo’s Hodžić came back to equalize (1:1). Just 10 minutes after that, Fernandes found the back of the net to bring Dinamo in the lead (2:1).
Dinamo does not have such an easy task next week in Norway, and the team must show some of their best defending yet – just one goal from Odd could set a panic through the Dinamo team and their fans. However, if all goes to plan, Dinamo has shown that they are the better quality team and should see themselves into the next round.