ZAGREB, 21 August 2019 – Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have one foot in this season’s UEFA Champions League after a 2-0 victory over Norwegian club Rosenborg in the first leg of the play-off in Zagreb tonight.
With a parochial crowd behind them at Maksimir stadium, Dinamo Zagreb started the match looking the more hungry and dangerous and the crowd would only have to wait just 8 minutes for their side to take the lead with Croatian international Bruno Petkovic was brought down in the box and he would convert from the spot to make it 1-0.
Spanish international Dani Olmo went close a few minutes later with a shot from just outside the box as Nenad Bjelica’s side chased a second goal.
Dinamo had a great chance to double their lead in the 25th minute when Nikola Moro played a delightful ball into the box but captain Arijan Ademi, who was free inside the penalty box, could not get a touch on the ball to help it in.
Dinamo would go ahead 2-0 in the 28th minute when new Croatian international Mislav Orsic finished calmly after he was left one-on-one with the Rosenborg keeper when a kick from Dinamo’s keeper Dominik Livakovic was flicked on by a Rosenborg defender.
It was all Dinamo now and in the 35th minute Moro almost made it three but was denied by the crossbar.
Rosenborg looked far more dangerous in the second spell and nearly pulled a goal back in the 57th minute when Akintola hit the crossbar. Moments later Dinamo nearly got their third when Rosenborg defender Ludemo nearly put the ball into his own net after deflecting a cross onto the bar.
Olmo and Petkovic would come close but Dinamo could not find another goal, although not conceding an away goal will please coach Bjelica.
The match will be remembered as the first match in Croatia to be played with the use of VAR technology available, although it was not called on during the match.
The return leg will be played next Tuesday in Norway.