Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Dinamo Zagreb will go into their final Europa Liga group match with Timosoara with a chance of progressing to the next stage after defeating Anderlecht 1-0 in Brussells. After recieving 3 points back on the board from UEFA's Disciplinary Review panel, Dinamo went into their game with Anderlecht with something to play for. With Ilija Sivonjic, Leandro Cufre and Igor Biscan absent, Dinamo coach Krunoslav Jurcic kept faith with Luis Ibanez, whilst Miroslav Slepicka was passed fit to lead the forward line with Mario Mandzukic. Robert Kovac was back in the defence, but keyman Pedro Morales only made the subs bench after a short lay off.

In a even first half few there was few opportunities to speak of for either team. Slepicka made a nice run before hitting a shot past the post, whilst Ivan Tomecak was making some excellant moves from right midfield. Anderlecht themselves struggled to carve out openings as Robert Kovac 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 Tomecak in space, who supplied Czech striker Slepicka to head past Silvio Proto. Anderlecht again struggled to make headway as Jurcic gambled throwing on Papadopoulos for Slepicka. 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 defence from their earlier Euro displays. Kovac once again rolled back the years and looked fresh after his recent lay off from HNL1 matches. In attack Mandzukic again struggled to find his best form, but the set up of the team looked more controlled with Slepicka helping to give the team shape.

The Czech striker has showed in recent weeks signs of improvement earning special mentions during games against Sibenik and Karlovac. Slepicka would need to improve on his 6 goal tally, but his overall scoring record with Dinamo is respectable having bagged 6 goals in 9 games last season. In Slepicka, Dinamo could have the player they need to see them gain victory in the Timisoara match, but are counting on Ajax to beat Anderlecht. Ajax are qualified after defeating Timosoara in Romania tonight.