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Rakitić scores as Sevilla beats Dinamo Zagreb in Europa League playoff first leg

Rakitić helps Sevilla overcome Dinamo Zagreb

Ivan Rakitić scores from the spot

Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb have lost 3-1 to Sevilla in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League knockout round play-off at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Thursday night. 

The home side would take the lead in the 13th minute when former Croatian international Ivan Rakitić calmly slotted home from the penalty spot after Dinamo keeper Dominik Livaković fouled Gómez in the box. 

The goal was Rakitić’s 15th goal in 125 appearances in UEFA’s club competitions. 

Dinamo’s danger man, Mislav Oršić, would get the visitors back in the match in the 41st minute when he would chest down a Ristovski cross and bang the ball past Sevilla’s keeper Bounou to make it 1-1.

Two goals in two minutes, first via Ocampos in the 44th minute and then Martial in the first minute of added time, would see Sevilla go in at the break 3-1 up. 

Dinamo had a great chance in the 52nd minute to narrow the lead but made two fines saves from Bounou from close range to keep the score at 3-1.

The visitors looked the more threatening in the second half but could not find a way through. 

The second leg will be played at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb next Thursday on 24 February 2022. 

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