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Soudani hat-trick fires Dinamo past Astra

GNK Dinamo Zagreb 5-1 FC Astra Giurgiu
El Arbi Hilal Soudani's first-half hat-trick ensured that Dinamo opened their campaign in style as Astra were blown away.

Dinamo's players savour their comfortable win
Dinamo's players savour their comfortable win ©AFP/Getty Images

El Arbi Hilal Soudani registers first-half hat-trick in Group D win
Visitors score first ever goal in UEFA Europa League group stage
Teenager Ante Ćorić scores maiden effort for Dinamo in Europe
On-loan Manchester United FC forward Ángelo Henríquez also on target
Next games: Dinamo Zagreb v Celtic, Astra Giurgiu v Salzburg (2 October)

GNK Dinamo Zagreb saw off the challenge of FC Astra Giurgiu in clinical fashion as El Arbi Hilal Soudani guaranteed a winning start to their UEFA Europa League Group D campaign with a first-half hat-trick.

Competing in Europe for only the second time, FC Astra Giurgiu were undone by a devastating spell as the hosts struck twice in the space of seven first-half minutes. Soudani was the scorer on both occasions, guiding a header into the bottom corner on 17 minutes after a pinpoint right-wing cross from Ivo Pinto and meeting Domagoj Antolić's corner at the near post to double the deficit.

The Algerian international then completed his hat-trick on the cusp of halt-time following a wonderful team move. Yet again the hosts attacked down the right-wing and Wilson Eduardo deftly picked out the Dinamo No2, who slotted in from close range.

That was just Dinamo's third shot on target, but although the statistics pointed to a more even contest, the visitors found themselves 4-0 down on 70 minutes. This time, on-loan Manchester United FC striker Ángelo Henríquez did the damage from an Antolić through ball, just three minutes after coming off the bench.

Astra substitute Aurelian Chiţu poked a consolation into the net at the near post after a fine cross by captain Constantin Budescu, but the Romanian side's night ended on another sour note when teenager Ante Ćorić restored Dinamo's four-goal lead in added time.

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