Goals from Marko Pantelić and Demy de Zeeuw earned AFC Ajax a 2-0 victory over nine-man NK Dinamo Zagreb and moved them to the brink of qualification in UEFA Europa League Group A.
In a match that made up in endeavour what it lacked in quality, the away team enjoyed enough periods of dominance to make the breakthroughs that moved them to eight points. Pantelić's 13th-minute opener was followed by a red card for Leandro Cufré and the visitors took advantage with De Zeeuw adding a second on the stroke of half-time before a second-half dismissal for Adrian Calello.
The first goal came when Luis Suárez was felled and Urby Emanuelson's free-kick was converted by Pantelić although the hosts could have levelled immediately had Ilija Sivonjić done better when up against Ajax custodian Maarten Stekelenburg. The next blow for Krunoslav Jurčić's men came when Cufré was sent off for a challenge on Suárez, however, they then missed another opportunity when Sivonjić again failed to severely test Stekelenburg.
Martin Jol's charges seemed certain of continuing their unbeaten start to the section when De Zeeuw struck in first-half stoppage time. Further chances followed after the break with Suárez denied by Tomislav Butina before Dinamo were reduced to nine men when Calello was shown a second yellow card on 73 minutes. Butina repelled further Ajax efforts to increase their lead, saving smartly from Siem De Jong and substitute Mitchell Donald, but the contest at the Maksimir Stadium had long since been decided. The result leaves Dinamo marooned at the bottom of the section with zero points, subject to the Croatian club's appeal against their three-point deduction (click here for details).