Written by dinamofan:), CSR HNL Correspondent
Dinamo Zagreb will go into their final Europa Liga group match with Timişoara with a chance of progressing to the next stage after defeating Anderlecht 1-0 in Brussels. After receiving their three points back from UEFA’s Disciplinary Review Panel, Dinamo went into their game against Anderlecht with something to play for. With Ilija Sivonjić, Leandro Cufre and Igor Bišćan absent, Dinamo coach Krunoslav Jurčić kept faith with Luis Ibanez, whilst Miroslav Slepička was passed fit to lead the forward line with Mario Mandžukić. Robert Kovač was back in the defense, but key man Pedro Morales only made the subs bench after a short lay off.
In an even first half there was few opportunities to speak of for either team. Slepička made a nice run before hitting a shot past the post, whilst Ivan Tomečak was making some excellent moves from right midfield. Anderlecht themselves struggled to carve out openings as Robert Kovač and Dejan Lovren stood firm. In the second half Romel Lakuka had his first sight of goal for Anderlecht, but shot straight at Tomislav Butina. It was a sign for Dinamo to step up their game and on 57 minutes the goal came. Sammir found Tomečak in space, who supplied Czech striker Slepička to head past Silvio Proto. Anderlecht again struggled to make headway as Jurčić gambled throwing on Papadopoulos for Slepička. However, there was little cause for Dinamo to panic as the best chances continued to fall their way, first for Vrdoljak, before Badelj shot straight at Proto in the dying moments of the match.
This was a fantastic win for Dinamo, who have improved dramatically in defense from their earlier Euro displays. Kovač once again rolled back the years and looked fresh after his recent lay off from HNL1 matches. In attack, Mandžukić again struggled to find his best form, but the set up of the team looked more controlled with Slepička helping to give the team shape.
PHOTO: Reuters, Miroslav Slepička
PHOTO: Ronald Goršić / Cropix, The BBB were in full force
In recent weeks the Czech striker has showed signs of improvement earning special mentions during games against Šibenik and Karlovac. Slepička would need to improve on his six goal tally, but his overall scoring record with Dinamo is respectable having bagged six goals in nine games last season. In Slepička, Dinamo could have the player they need to see them gain victory in the Timişoara match, but are counting on Ajax to beat Anderlecht. Ajax are qualified after defeating Timişoara in Romania tonight.
IN OTHER NEWS…
Kalinić Scores against Chelsea in Carling Cup
Blackburn Rovers knocked Chelsea out of the Carling Cup today in a penalty shoot-out to set up a semi-final against Aston Villa. Nikola Kalinić gave Blackburn an early lead (9′) in a back and forth see-saw battle that ended in a 3-3 draw from a raucous 18,136 fans in attendance at Ewood Park. During the penalty shoot-out, Kalinić was selected to be a shooter for his side, but his shot was saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Henrique Hilario. However, Blackburn pulled through to stay alive in the competition.
Why can’t we make penalties??????? -Zach G.