Canny Anderlecht reign in Zagreb
Thursday, September 17, 2009
NK Dinamo Zagreb 0-2 RSC Anderlecht
Víctor Bernárdez's 74th-minute free-kick broke the hosts' spirits with Jonathan Legear adding a second as the heavens opened.
Article top media content
RSC Anderlecht scored two late goals amid torrential rain to earn three points away to NK Dinamo Zagreb spirits in their opening UEFA Europa League Group A contest.
Honduran left-back Victor Bernárdez took a long run-up before trundling a low free-kick under the Dinamo defensive wall and inside Tomislav Butina's right-hand post with 74 minutes played as Ariël Jacobs' side made one of their few chances count. Substitute Jonathan Legear then drilled in a second as Dinamo redoubled their efforts with the heavens opening in Zagreb.
Anderlecht were happy to pack their area in the first half, with Dinamo's attempts to pick their way through the Belgian side's rearguard rarely gaining much purchase. Ivica Vrdoljak pinged a low shot straight at Silvio Proto after nine minutes, and Mario Mandžukić miscued over the bar from near the penalty spot after 34 minutes.
The visitors showed a fraction more aggression after the break, with Cheikhou Kouyaté heading wide from Bernárdez's cross, before Etto had the crowd momentarily on their feet as his speculative effort dipped over Proto's crossbar. However, there was a certain sense of inevitability about Bernárdez's free-kick, with Dinamo's frustration showing.
Dinamo hurled men forward in search of an equaliser, but were hit again on the break two minutes from the end, with Romelu Lukako making a long run out of defence before squaring for fellow substitute Legear to score. With AFC Ajax drawing 0-0 with FC Timişoara in the section's other game, Anderlecht top Group A. They are at home next to Ajax on 1 October, when Dinamo visit Timişoara.