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Dinamo Zagreb look to complete the job at Malmö

GNK Dinamo Zagreb are within sight of a first group stage campaign for 12 years as a fine home showing earned a 4-1 lead for the second leg of their play-off tie at Malmö FF.

Dinamo celebrate their first-leg victory
Dinamo celebrate their first-leg victory ©Getty Images

It is 12 years since GNK Dinamo Zagreb last graced the group stage but they are well placed to put that right against a Malmö FF side competing in Europe for the first time since 2005/06.

• The Croatian champions were in dominant form in the first leg despite Agon Mehmeti's 17th-minute goal cancelling out Sammir's fourth-minute opener. Ante Rukavina (56) and Sammir again (60, penalty) put Dinamo in command, substitute Fatos Bećiraj adding a late fourth.

Previous meetings
• The teams had never met in UEFA club competition before the first leg.

• Dinamo's only previous experience of Swedish opposition came in the first round of the 2004/05 UEFA Cup, where they eliminated IF Elfsborg, winning 2-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away.

• Malmö came up against Dinamo's arch-rivals HNK Hajduk Split in their only past matches against Croatian opposition, bowing out to them in the 1997/98 and 1998/99 UEFA Cup second qualifying rounds. They lost three of those individual games – including both their home fixtures − and drew the other.

Match background
• Malmö have won only one of their last four European games at home, beating HB Tórshavn 2-0 in this season's second qualifying round.

• Dinamo have won three and lost only two of their last seven European fixtures on the road, at Villarreal CF and PAOK FC in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Dinamo have won their opening five league matches of the season without conceding a goal. Agon Mehmeti's effort for Malmö in the first leg is the only time they have been breached in any competition this term.

• Twelve years after last gracing the UEFA Champions League group stage, Dinamo have their sights set on a return to Europe's elite following aggregate victories against Neftçi PFK (3-0) and HJK Helsinki (3-1).

• Dinamo participated in the 1998/99 group stage and while they finished second behind Olympiacos FC, their record was not good enough to reach the quarter-finals as one of the two best runners-up.

• The following season Dinamo finished bottom of a first group stage pool which included Manchester United FC, Olympique de Marseille and SK Sturm Graz.

• Since their last group stage appearance, the Croatian club have fallen at the last on five occasions, losing third qualifying round ties to AC Milan in 2000/01, FC Dynamo Kyiv (2003/04), Arsenal FC (2006/07), SV Werder Bremen (2007/08) and FC Shakhtar Donetsk (2008/09).

• In 2010/11, Dinamo failed to make it out of the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Malmö have never played in the group stage of a UEFA competition, but reached the 1978/79 European Champion Clubs' Cup final under Bob Houghton, where they lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest FC in Munich.

• This is only their second appearance in qualifying since the advent of the UEFA Champions League. They beat Maccabi Haifa FC (agg: 5-4) to reach the final hurdle in 2005/06, but unexpectedly lost out to Swiss outsiders FC Thun (agg: 4-0).

• They have come through two rounds to reach the play-offs this season, beating HB Tórshavn (agg: 3-1) and, rather more impressively, Scottish champions Rangers FC (agg: 2-1).

Team ties
• Dinamo were linked with Malmö defender Ricardinho before the start of the season, but the deal was never completed.

• Dinamo's Swedish defender Walid Atta played under Malmö coach Rikard Norling at AIK Solna, and also played alongside Malmö goalkeeper Johan Dahlin in the Sweden Under-21 side.

• Malmö striker-turned-footballing superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović has a cult following in Croatia by virtue of his Croatian mother, Jurka Gravić.