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Bakke breaks ten-man Dinamo

SK Brann 2-1 NK Dinamo Zagreb
Eirik Bakke's 72nd-minute strike earned the Norwegian club victory over determined ten-man opposition.

Brann's Thorstein Helstad (right) vies for possession with Dinamo Zagreb's Hrvoje Čale
Brann's Thorstein Helstad (right) vies for possession with Dinamo Zagreb's Hrvoje Čale ©Getty Images

Eirik Bakke's goal earned SK Brann victory over ten-man NK Dinamo Zagreb to keep the Norwegian side in UEFA Cup Group D contention.

Bakke winner
The 30-year-old midfielder struck on 72 minutes, prodding home after an Azar Karadas shot had been saved, to secure the points after Dinamo's Ognjen Vukojević had cancelled out an Ólafur Örn Bjarnason penalty. The game had turned in the home team's favour on the stroke of half-time when Gordon Schildenfeld brought down Thorstein Helstad to concede a penalty and elicit a red card for himself, although the visitors were offered hope by Vukojević's header four minutes after the break.

Dinamo dominance
Dinamo had enjoyed the better of the early chances and almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Nikola Pokrivač's 25-metre effort flew just over. On eleven minutes they went even closer as Marijo Mandžukić rattled the crossbar with a ferocious long shot, and the Croatian side were again denied by the woodwork when Luka Modrić struck a post 33 minutes in.

Turning point
Against the run of play Brann took the lead when Schildenfeld impeded Helstad in the area and the referee pointed to the spot and then to the dressing room, obliging the Dinamo player to leave the pitch. Bjarnason powered the ball into the bottom-right corner, but soon after the restart the away team were level as Vukojević nodded in Modrić's inswinging corner.

Mandžukić chance
Indeed it was the ten men from Zagreb who looked likelier to grab the next goal, Mandžukić going close midway through the half with a powerful header that was well saved by Håkon Opdal. But Bakke restored the home advantage five minutes later, heading in Erik Huseklepp's cross to bring Brann level on points with second-placed FC Basel 1893.