Milan Badelj found redemption on his final appearance at the Stadion Maksimir as he atoned for his first-half own goal with a late winner for GNK Dinamo Zagreb in their play-off against NK Maribor.
The 23-year-old leaves for Hamburger SV when his club's UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign culminates next Tuesday in Slovenia, and was set for a miserable farewell when he put into his own net on 39 minutes. The strike cancelled out Duje Čop's neat early finish, but with time running out and Dinamo pressure building, Badelj drove the ball in to give the home fans a precious parting gift.
In truth the hosts could have had the tie sewn up in the opening 25 minutes, but wayward finishing and Badelj's intervention following Goran Cvijanovič's low free-kick meant it was 1-1 at the interval. Arijan Ademi fired over early on, but ten minutes in Sammir's hopeful shot deflected off defender Aleksander Rajčevič and into the path of Domagoj Vida. He picked his man in the centre and Čop did the rest.
Jerko Leko volleyed just over before Maribor keeper Jasmin Handanovič excellently turned Arghus's wayward defensive header onto the bar; Čop blasted off target twice more in quick succession.
It seemed a matter of time before the hosts got a second, but the visitors got a helping hand five minutes before the break. A clumsy Leko challenge on the right gave the visitors a chance to get the ball in the box, and Cvijanovič's low driven cross was turned past his own keeper by the toe of the Dinamo skipper.
It was more of the same after the interval as Badelj's volley was blocked and left-back Josip Pivarić dragged wide when sent clear. It seemed Badelj would depart from Maksmir under a cloud, but he burst on to a Čop pass with 16 minutes remaining and drilled beyond Handanovič to earn salvation and a narrow advantage for his side.
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