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Tonel sinks Maribor as Dinamo progress

NK Maribor 0-1 GNK Dinamo Zagreb (agg: 1-3)
Tonel's early goal eased the Croatian champions' passage to the group stage for a second season in succession.

Dinamo Zagreb celebrate Tonel's winner at Maribor
Dinamo Zagreb celebrate Tonel's winner at Maribor ©Getty Images

GNK Dinamo Zagreb booked their place in the UEFA Champions League group stage for a second consecutive year, as Tonel's first-half goal confirmed their progress past NK Maribor.

Holding a first-leg advantage, Ante Čačić's men took the sting out of the tie early on, as Portuguese defender Tonel turned in after 12 minutes. Dinamo's Sammir had a golden opportunity to kill off the tie after the break before Arghus was dismissed in the dying minutes for the hosts, who take the substantial consolation of a place in the UEFA Europa League.

At 2-1 down from the first leg, the onus was on the home side to come out firing, but a low-tempo start played into the hands of the visitors, and an intense period of Dinamo pressure brought a goal. Jasmin Handanovič turned behind Duje Čop's powerful effort before preventing Sammir's resulting corner from swinging directly in, but it was third time lucky for Dinamo as the Brazilian's deep cross was headed back into the danger zone by Čop, and Tonel was on hand to prod in.

Domagoj Vida went close to doubling the advantage before the break, flicking another inswinging Sammir cross over with his head. The only encouragement for the home crowd came as Dinamo goalkeeper Ivan Kelava dropped twice from crosses in a crowded area, before his defence came to the rescue.

Maribor upped the pace after the interval, but lacked the incisiveness to trouble their Croatian neighbours. Robert Berić, Dejan Mezga and Aleš Mertelj shot tamely off target from distance, though Goran Cvijanovič at least made Kelava work from outside the area.

Dinamo playmaker Sammir had a golden opportunity to kill off the tie with 20 minutes remaining. Sent clear, he opted to chip the ball over Handanovič but only succeeded in lobbing the ball into the keeper's grateful hands. Arghus subsequently brought down Čop when through on goal with five minutes remaining to put the final nail in the Maribor coffin.