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Viktoria ends in UEFA Europa League after losing to Dinamo Zagreb
21.02.2019
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Viktoria ends in UEFA Europa League after losing to Dinamo Zagreb

Coach Pavel Vrba had to solve a trouble issue at centre back’s position because Lukáš Hejda was injured, Hubník suspended and the only available player was Luděk Pernica. An experienced defender David Limberský played at this position next to the scorer of both goals in the first leg.

R32, Thu 21st Feb 2019, 18:55, Maksimir stadium

Dinamo Zagreb: Livaković – Moharrami, Théophile-Catherine, Dilaver, Leovac – Ademi, Šunjić – Hajrović (68. Moro), Olmo, Oršić (88. Gojak) – Petković (90+1. Andrić).

Plzeň: Kozáčik – Havel (74. Řezník), Pernica, Limberský, Kovařík – Hrošovský, Procházka – Kayamba, Hořava (57. Bakoš), Petržela – Beauguel (67. Chorý).

Goals: 15. Oršić, 34. Dilaver, 73. Petković, YC: Hajrović, Dilaver, Leovac, Olmo – Limberský, Bakoš, Chorý, 2nd YC=RC: 87. Limberský, Referees: Kovács – Marinescu, Artene (all Romania).
Crowd: 25,860.


The match in Zagreb started sharply. Right in the initial minutes the hosts saved a corner by Jan Kovařík but the ball bounced to David Limberský who had quite a good chance to shoot from 30 metres but missed the target. Afterwards Dinamo had their first chance. Dani Olmo got a crossed ball in the box and shot well. This time Limberský defended him and secured Kozáčik in front of leaping ball.

About 15 minutes into the game Zagreb burst with joy. Bruno Petković beat Pernica in the box and while turning he heeled the ball in front of the goalkeeper, Olmo passed the ball to Mislav Oršić who had no problem to place the ball behind helpless Kozáčik.

Viktorians were close to equalizing soon after that. Milan Petržela run along the left side and shot on goal but his attempt was rebounded to corner by Dominik Livaković. About 30 minutes of the match Plzeň produced their best first-half chance. Patrik Hrošovský accurately crossed the ball to Petržela who kicked it to Hořava, nevertheless, he shot above the crossbar.

Unfortunately what Plzeň missed, Zagreb succeeded in. Hajrović took an excellent free kick and sat the ball to Emir Dilaver’s head, Zagreb jumped to two-goals margin in the 34th minute. Plzeň’s situation could be even worse later – Dani Olmo headed alone in the box but Kozáčik perfomed fantastic save this time and kept Viktoria’s hope alive. However, it was much furhter after the first half than after the first leg – they were losing 0-2.

The hosts opened the second half very actively. They had a free kick and dangerous Hajrović threatened Kozáčik from a long distance. Slovakian goalkeeper first dropped the ball but was ready for Šunjić rebound. Six minutes later Hajrović had an effort on goal and Kozáčik was busy again.

Zagreb definitely secured the match’s victory in the 72nd minute. Oršić passed the ball to Petković. He finished the counterattack as all home fans wished – 3-0. The match was more or less finished in a calm pace, Viktorians finally lost Limberský who was shown a red card. Plzeň lost to Zagreb and are edged out after the 1st play-off UEL round.

Pavel Vrba’s Commentary

“Dinamo were better in everything in first half,“ coach Pavel Vrba regretted. “We missed the beginning, our opponent was more agressive and stronger. If you think at this level that you have time to fix it, you’ll soon find out that you’re wrong. We have to take a lesson of this, Zagreb deserved to win,“ he added.

“We settled if we continued in this way, it would end up as some other failed away matches in Europe. At the same time we knew our goal could totally turn the match. Unfortunately we concieded the third one and the match was over,“ Vrba revealed.

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