Dinamo Zagreb couldn’t find the back of the net in 180 minutes against Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol and will now be headed to the Europa League group stage because of it. Through both matches, Dinamo’s finishing in the final third was mediocre and never shook a Sheriff side that decided to bunker at Maksimir Wednesday night, protecting a 3-0 1st leg win.
Dinamo will be a seeded Pot 1 side in Friday’s draw which will set up a favorable road to once again play in the knockout rounds after the new year. There is also the chance that Dinamo is paired with Serbian side Crvena Zvezda in this year’s group stage as they nearly played each other in CL qualifying. Lots to look forward to regarding Dinamo and European football again this season.
Dinamo Zagreb were absolutely outclassed last week in Moldova when they lost 3-0 to Sheriff Tiraspol in the final round of Champions League qualifying. The winner of this draw heads to the prestigious Champions League group stage while the loser plays in Europa League.
It’s not the end of the world if Dinamo don’t make it to CL even though they were given a kind road this season. It’s the perennial debate we have regarding Dinamo every season:
Is Champions League better for them to play in or Europa League?
Outside of more cash and star-studded matches in Zagreb, it does the team no good if they are getting pounded 6-0 in CL matches for three months straight. Obviously, I’m justifying the situation but imagine if Dinamo were drawn with Chelsea, PSG, and Porto. They wouldn’t get one point out of that group. The exact thing happened during the 2016 CL group stage when Dinamo lost all six matches with a -15 goal differential against Juventus, Sevilla, and Lyon. Not one goal was scored by a Dinamo player.
Dinamo came back from a 2-0 first leg defeat to Tottenham last season during the Europa League Round of 16. So to say they couldn’t overturn 3-0 against Sheriff at Maksimir is anything farther than the truth.
Could Dinamo pull off one more miracle or is it back to Europa League for the Croatian champions? The match kicks off at 3PM (ET) Wednesday.