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Page last updated at 20:55 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 21:55 UK

Linfield 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb

Zagreb striker Bosko Balaban gets in front of William Murphy
Zagreb striker Bosko Balaban gets in front of William Murphy

Linfield are facing an early Champions League exit after losing to Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of their first round qualifying tie.

Mario Mandzuki put the Croats ahead on 16 minutes with a shot into the corner.

Zagreb dominated but wasted a series of chances before an error from keeper Alan Mannus allowed Dino Drpic to score with a 90th minute free-kick.

Peter Thompson was a late substitute in what is likely to be his last Linfield game before a transfer.

Norwich City and Stockport County have tabled bids for the Northern Ireland striker while Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies was in Belfast to watch the 24-year-old.

Mandzuki headed wide from 10 yards before netting after a good pass from Pedro Morales.

Former Aston Villa forward Bosko Balaban fired over with a 30-yard free-kick after 24 minutes.

Dinamo keeper Tomislav Butina fisted out an Aidan O'Kane strike in what was Linfield's only shot on target.

A mistake by Kris Lindsay allowed Mandzuki through but his chip over a stranded Mannus drifted wide.

Mannus diverted a Balaban shot wide and from the resulting corner Igor Biscan, a Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005, headed straight at the home keeper.

The pace dropped in the second half but Zagreb remained in control and Mandzuki squandered another opportunity on 74 minutes when he shot over from close range.

Biscan should have scored three minutes from time but his weak header from three yards was easily cleared off the line by Linfield debutant Conor Hagan.

A 1-0 defeat would have given the Blues hope for next Wednesday's second leg but Zagreb doubled their lead with just seconds left.

Drpic sent in a low free-kick from the edge of the box and Mannus failed to get down in time to prevent the ball hitting the net.

Linfield: Mannus, Hagan, Bailie, Murphy, Douglas, Mulgrew, Gault, Lindsay, McAreavey, O'Kane, Downey.

Dinamo Zagreb: Butina, Etto, Drpic, Biscan, Carlos, Mikic, Vrdoljak, Chago, Mandzukic, Morales, Balaban.

Referee: Thomas Vejlgaard (Denmark)

see also
Canaries join race for Thompson
16 Jul 08 |  Internationals

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