This weekend brought us more than interesting games on Croatian lawns
SLAVEN BELUPO – LOKOMOTIVA 0:1 (Šoticek 65′)
SLAVEN BELUPO: Sušak – Bosec, Račić, Međimorec, Štefulj (Boras 76′) – Hlevnjak (Martinaga 46′), Agbekpornu (Štrkalj 86′), Mioč – Cascini (Jagušić 76′), Šakota (Ortiz 68′), Hoxha
LOCOMOTIVA: Čavlina – Vranjković, Živković, Kalaica, Milićević – Bubanja, Smakaj (Mašić 88′) – Bulatović (from 64. Krivak 64′), Tuci, Šoticek – Kulenović
Before the match itself, the transfer of Ante Crnac to the Polish champion Rakow was confirmed. Why is this important? Already in this match it was felt that Slaven Belupo was left without a valuable player. The cash register is full, but there is a lack of Crnac.
Slaven Belupo tried to press, and already in the 10th minute the hosts had a chance. But Čavlina managed to react well. Hoxha also tried, but the ball went past the goal. After that, Lokomotiv wakes up and takes control of the game. The best chance happened at the end of the first half when Bosec hit the post.
In the second half, Slaven Belupo started well, but there was no realisation. Lokomotiva waited for its chance until the 65th minute. Tuci employed the young winger Šotiček, who had no problem scoring his debut in the HNL. Towards the end of the match, the hosts could have equalized, but Boras hit the post.
RUDEŠ – GORICA 0:2 (Majstorović 16′, Soldo 24′)
RUDEŠ: Kralj – Campos (Camara 46′), Matić, Rešetar (Petković 46′), Tomečak – Pasariček, Vukmanović (Srbljinović 81′) – Mašala, Latković (Bašić 60′), Lazarov – Ljubanović (Topić 60′)
GORICA: Banić – Raspopović (Munksgaard 85′), Maloča, Krizmanić, Štiglec – Pršir (Blummel 77′), Soldo – Majstorović (Mrzljak 66′), Ndockyt, Mitrović (Kapulica 85′) – Vujnović (Ilečić 77′)
No luck according to Rudeš. After seven games played, Rudeš is still on only one point. Gorica returns from this duel with full loot. Already after the 24th minute, Gorica led 2:0 with goals from Majstorović and Soldo.
Both teams played aggressively, at least at the beginning of the game. However, in the 16th minute, Štiglec throws the ball in, and Majstorović scores for Gorica to take the lead. Almost ten minutes later, Gorica leads 2:0. After the corner, Soldo scores. Prosinečki tried to wake up the team, but it just didn’t work.
After the defeat, NK Rudeš and Robert Prosinečki parted ways by mutual agreement.
HAJDUK – ISTRIA 1961 0:1 (Lisica 90’+11′)
HAJDUK: Lučić – Moufi (Mikanović 78′), Šarlija, Diallo (Ferro 46′), Melnjak – Krovinović (Benrahou 70′), Sigur – Dolček, Odjidja (Kalik 78′), Sahiti (Dajaku 64′) – Livaja
ISTRA 1961: Majkić – Hujber, Marešić, Majstorović, Devetak – Čuić (Vuk 67′), Petrusenko, Blagojević (Mlinar 56′) – Kadušić (Lisica 82′), Erceg, Valinčić (Douglas 82′)
Hajduk failed to register a sixth victory in the championship. In Split, Istria won 1:0, and the scorer was Lisica in the 11th minute of extra time in the second half. Hajduk struggled the whole game. Hajduk missed a number of opportunities, and they scored two goals from offside. In the second part of the match, Hajduk had no strength and creation. Maybe because Istra was organized in defense, but also on the rest of the field.
This match also showed the weaknesses of Hajduk. They need quality in midfield. Hajduk’s attack remains on only one attacker. And Livaja can’t pull it on his own if he doesn’t have the necessary background behind him. As for Istria, they will remain a team for the middle or lower home of the HNL. And they no longer have the same staff as last season.
Hajduk started well. First, Krovinović threatened, and then Majkić read Melnjak’s mind perfectly. Until the 26th minute, we waited for a new chance, and Livaja put the ball over the goal. In the 41st minute, Hajduk scored to take the lead, but VAR confirmed that the goal was scored from behind.
Right at the beginning of the second half, Hajduk scored again, but again from behind. I guess that’s the only way I can score. Hajduk’s players need concentration when setting up on the field. Otherwise, they will only score goals from the backfield.
Hajduk tried to keep a high rhythm, but nervousness crept into the team. In some moments, Istria hid the ball. As the match progressed, the Hajduk players became more and more nervous, while Istria became more and more calm and composed. It was also seen in the transfer of play and long balls by Hajduk.
The 14th minute of overtime was played instead of the scheduled six minutes. And the shock for the hosts came in the 101st minute when Istria took the lead through Lisica, who scored from a counterattack. If Hajduk wants to fight for the title, then it must be concentrated. It would be good if they strengthened themselves with a few quality players.
RIJEKA – VARAŽDIN 2:2 (Janković 17., Obregon 85./Postonjski 69. – 11m, Brodić 73.)
RIJEKA: Labrović – Smolčić, Mitrović, Galesić, Goda – Selahi (Ilinković 59′), Hodža (Banda 78′) – Pašalić (Obregon 72′), Janković, Fruk (Grgić 78′) – Ivanović (Pjaca 59′).
VARAŽDIN: Zelenika – Vukčević, Jelenić (Nekić 58′), Pellumbi, Bručić – Postonjski (Mistrafović 80′), Elezi – Mitrovski (Škaričić 80′), Belcar (Vukušić 46′), Šego – Brodić (from 86. Banovec 86′ )
Rijeka had the game, the character, but they also had the leadership and more than the game. They were leading, so Varaždin turned them around, and in the end they chased the gap and finally caught it. In the end, the match ended in a division of points.
Rijeka started strong. From the first second, Rijeka kept a very high rhythm. Even though the weather was hot, Rijeka created chances, had possession and was the better team. Zelenika was under siege, but capitulated in the 17th minute. Janković scored with an assist from Fruk.
Ten minutes later, Varaždin also threatened, but Labrović was in the right place. But that was it from Varaždin in the first half. Rijeka had the game and the initiative, and Varaždin was waiting for its chance.
Rijeka dominated in the second half as well, and Varaždin waited for its chance and its five minutes. In the 59th minute, Rijeka’s new reinforcement – Marko Pjaca – enters. In the 65th minute, Janković shot, but it hit the post.
A few minutes later Varaždin got their chance. In the 69th minute, Postonjski scored to equalize. Labrović hit the side, but Postonjski’s shot was strong and precise enough that he could not defend himself. The people of Varaždin got their five minutes, or four. Because in the 73rd minute, Brodić scores a goal.
It would have been expected that Rijeka would fall after that, but they did not give up and did not surrender. Towards the end of the match, Rijeka received a free kick, which was taken by Janković. He hits the post, but it bounces to Obregon, who scores to equalize the score. By the end of the match, Rijeka had more players, but the result did not change.
OSIJEK – DINAMO 2:3 (Mierez 7′, Bukvić 46’/Emreli 70′, Petković 87′-11m, 90’+9′-11m)
OSIJEK: Malenica – Gržan, Mkrtčjan, Bralić, Guedes (Drambaev 72′) – Nejašmić, Brlek (Drambaev 78′) – Bukvić (Pušić 78′), Caktaš, Lovrić (Jugović 72′) – Mierez
DINAMO: Nevistić – Ristovski (Moharrami 42′), B. Šutalo, Perić, Mihajličenko (Emreli 30′) – Mišić, Ljubičić – Špikić (Menalo 46′), Bulat (Drmić 72′), Baturina – Petković
This was the first derby at the new Opus Arena. The champion Dinamo came to Osijek. After the shocking defeat in Prague, Dinamo did not enter this match well either. The relationship in the first half was disastrous. Osijek raised the tempo of the game to a high level, and Dinamo seemed not to be on the field. There was everything in this match.
What is right and how it should be – let the profession deal with it. This match was a real derby, considering all Croatian derbies, and with a lot of excitement. Already in the seventh minute, Mierez, who is wanted by Dinamo, scored. And Osijek continued with a high tempo until the end of the first half.
When the second half started, Osijek scored for 2:0. The shooter was Bukvić who rushed past Dinamo’s players. It looked like Dinamo was losing its way and that there was no way out. However, Emreli scored in the 70th minute to reduce the score.
But Croatian football wouldn’t be interesting if something didn’t start happening. Ever since Emreli reduced the score, everything turned around. Now Dinamo is dominating, and they need a win to stay in the race for the national champion. Namely, in the 87th minute, Dinamo has a penalty kick. It was performed by Bruno Petković and thus leveled the score. Time passed, and the referee’s compensation was six minutes.
Another penalty kick was awarded to Dinamo in stoppage time. Again, the performer is the captain of Dinamo. And again, Petković was precise. Dinamo turned the game in their favor. Thus, Dinamo remained in the race with the others.
Who is to guilty for Osijek’s defeat? Referees or VAR room? Or are they themselves to blame for the fall in the game and the defeat? Bad execution? If Osijek had scored every chance it created, this would have been a different game. If you think that you are a serious club and that you will play at a high level, then you have to score more chances, and Osijek had them. And you can’t even pull back!
It is better for Dinamo to bring in some more quality reinforcements so that they can play on three fronts. At Dinamo, the emphasis is always on the championship and European competitions.