For me as a Croatian and huge Dinamo Zagreb this is a big celebration!
Dinamo Zagreb just did one of the biggest surprises in Europa League.
In Maksimir, home of Dinamo Zagreb, Villarreal was completely outplayed.
Ante Rukavina and Sammir provided moments of calm in an otherwise untidy match to earn the hosts victory in their opening Group D fixture.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Villarreal 2-0
Rukavina 18’, Sammir 80’
Kelava - Vrsaljko - Biscan - Tonel - Cufre - Badelj - Ademi - Sammir - Morales - Tomecak - Rukavina
Substitutes: Chago for Morales
Ibanez for Rukavina
Beciraj for Sammir
Lopez - Mario - Rodriguez - Musacchio - Capdevila - Senna - Bruno - Cani - Montero - Altidore - Ruben
Substitutes: Rossi for Ruben
Valero for Bruno
Cazoria for Cani
Before the match, Villarreal was asked if they ever heard about Dinamo Zagreb and of course, the answer was, no we don't. But tonight they learned their lesson.
They probably thought how Dinamo Zagreb will be just an easy opponent and 3 points are guaranteed. They were very wrong!
From the beginning, Dinamo showed great skills and they possessed to ball most of the times.
Villarreal didn't show anything in the whole match. Their attackers were very poor, mostly thanks to the great defensive duo, Igor Biscan, former Liverpool player and great new signing, Tonel, who came from Portugual team, Sporting Lisbon. They were fantastic last night and nobody couldn't go through them.
First goal came in 18min. as a result of great Dinamo discipline on the field. Sammir did amazing run through the center and made a great assist for Ante Rukavina, who stayed calm and finished it easily for 1-0. The atmosphere in Maksimir went crazy after that.
Nothing special happened during the first half as Dinamo kept attacking and having the ball most of the time.
In second half time Senna did a stupid thing, he got a second yellow card and left his team to do a miracle with 10 men on the field. Of course they failed.
Second goal came in 80min. when Cufre first won the ball by doing a great tackle and then he did a great run on the left side of the field and gave amazing ball for the player of the match, Sammir who scored nice goal.
Can Dinamo Zagreb finally stay in Europe after winter? Last time they accomplish that was since 40 years but now under Vahid Halihodzic who did amazing work in one month can finally bring Dinamo far in Europe Competition.
Dinamo did a great job because honestly nobody expected for them to beat Villarreal who is definitely one of the teams that should go far in this year Europa League.
Player of the match: Sammir ( goal and assist)
In other match of this group Club Brugge and PAOK tied 1-1.
PS Please make Dinamo Zagreb community page on bleacher report :)