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Dinamo down Žalgiris with second-half double

GNK Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 VMFD Žalgiris
Second-half strikes from El Arbi Hilal Soudani and Domagoj Antolić settled the contest on the night.

Ivo Pinto (left) of Dinamo Zagreb competes with Adi Sobrinho
Ivo Pinto (left) of Dinamo Zagreb competes with Adi Sobrinho ©Saulius Čirba

GNK Dinamo Zagreb are in control of their own destiny after a 2-0 victory against VMFD Žalgiris in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.

The Croatian champions entered this match as a clear favourites but needed time to prove it against Žalgiris. After an uneventful first half, goals in the second period from El Arbi Hilal Soudani and Domagoj Antolić settled the contest and put Zoran Mamić's side in the driving seat.

It took until after half-time for Dinamo Zagreb to find their rhythm and Hilal broke the deadlock in the 58th minute after an excellent attack. A neat one-two in the box between Hilal and Duje Čop left the Algerian international nicely positioned, and he finished with aplomb.

Dinamo Zagreb extended their lead in the 70th minute. New signing Paulo Machado sent a sharp pass from the right flank into the middle and an unmarked Domagoj Antolić tucked the ball into the left corner. The home side had the bit between their teeth and were pressing for more goals, but both Antolić and Marko Pjaca were denied by goalkeeper Armantas Vitkauskas.

Žalgiris will have their work cut out when they welcome the Croatian side to Vilnius for the return meeting next Tuesday.