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Dinamo edge past Maribor

NK Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 NK Maribor (Agg: 3-2) Dinamo squeeze through to the third round.

NK Dinamo Zagreb booked their place in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round with a 2-1 victory against NK Maribor in Croatia.

Promising start
With the first leg in Slovenia last week having finished 1-1, the home side began the better and enjoyed the majority of the possession but without ever really threatening the Maribor goal. In contrast, the visitors scored with their first attack, as Amir Karic's tenth-minute corner was headed into the net by Stipe Balajic. 

Attacking intent
The strike, which cancelled out Dinamo's own away goal from the first leg, left the Croatian side needing to score to stay in the competition, and the home side duly came out after half-time in positive fashion. Goce Sedloski came close to an equaliser as his header hit the crossbar, but Dinamo drew level on the hour thanks to Andre Mijatovic's spectacular free-kick.

Late drama
Four minutes later, Dinamo were in front on the night and on aggregate, with Dino Drpic's well-struck shot from 25 metres finding the corner of the net. However, the home side then lost Romanian forward Dumitru Mitu to a second yellow card, and Maribor started to dominate, but Mijatovic's effort came back off the crossbar and Eduardo Da Silva was unable to convert when clear on goal as ten-man Dinamo held on.

'Severe pressure'
"Maribor played very well," said Dinamo coach Nikola Jurcevic. "It was very difficult to win this game, especially after they scored first. We played a good second half and it is most important that we won, although we were under severe pressure."

'First-leg damage'
His opposite number admitted that Dinamo had done enough to progress, as Matijaz Kek said: "We played a good game but Dinamo deserved to win. They did most of the work in Maribor in the first game."