Fans of Dinamo Zagreb were hoping for a more attractive opponent to face before entering the Champions League group stage, but the Modri will face Albanian champions KS Skenderbeu Korce in the playoff round.
Other potential opponents included Serbia’s FK Partizan, Israel’s Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Sweden’s Malmo FF, and Kazakhstan’s Astana.
Dinamo avoided drawing Partizan, which easily could have been the most exciting match of the tournament.
Skenderbeu’s road to the playoffs was was not a difficult one. The Albanian side first defeated Norther Ireland’s Crusaders FC (agg 6-4) and then Moldova’s FC Milsami Orhei (agg 4-0).
But despite and unattractive opponent, playing a lesser team should be a ticket to the group stages without too much difficulty.
But don’t speak too soon. Dinamo has yet to win a home game this qualifying season and should have handled Fola Esch and Molde FK much easier than they did.
The first match will take place on Aug. 17 in Albania with the return leg at Maksimir on Aug. 24.
Hajduk Split also learned their fate in the Europa League playoff round this morning.
The Bili will face the Czech Republic’s Slovan Liberec on Aug. 19, then again in Split on Aug. 26.