PHOTO: GORAN SEBELIC Cropix

HNL REVIEW: RIJEKA AND DINAMO PLAYED AN EVEN, AND HAJDUK BARELY WON

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In the HNL marathon, Rijeka and Dinamo played to a draw, and Hajduk barely beat the last team in the championship

LOKOMOTIVA – RIJEKA 1:1 (Tuci 27’/Fruk 43′)
LOKOMOTIVA: Čavlina, Bartolec (Kalaica 81′), Mersinaj, Živković, Leovac, Smakaj, Marić, Goričan, Mudražija (Bubanja 81′), Krivak (Žilinski 73′), Tuci
RIJEKA: Labrović, Smolčić, Dilaver, Mitrović, Goda, Hodža, Fruk (Grgić 79′), Janković, Pjaca, Yansane (Banda 46′), Ivanović (Obregon 68′)

For Croatian circumstances, Lokomotiva and Rijeka played a good match. At the end of it all, they shared the spoils. Lokomotiva ended the streak of four consecutive defeats in head-to-head matches with Rijeka. They somehow managed to come back after the defeat against Dinamo.

Coach Zlatko Dalić and part of the coaching staff came to the match. They wanted to see the Rijeka national team members Labrović and Pjaca again, but also Ivanović, who had been invited. Of course, Marko Pjaca showed from all of them. He was noticed on the wing, but also when entering the middle.

Both teams had their chances during the game, although the visitors and hosts entered it cautiously. In the 27th minute of the match, Tuci punished Rijeka’s defense and managed to score a goal for the hosts. Towards the end of the first half, Fruk scored in the 43rd minute to tie the score.

In the continuation of the match, the home team and the guests started attacking. Both teams wanted to take the lead. As time went on, so did the pace of the game. Maybe it was the soggy lawn that caused it. Maybe it was an obstacle for the players who often skated into space. The result did not change.

GORICA – OSIJEK 3:0 (Štiglec 45’+3′, Soldo 82′, Pršir 88′)
GORICA: Banić – Raspopović (Soldo 76′), Maloča (Leš 46′), Krizmanić, Štiglec – Pršir, Mrzljak – Munksgaard, Ndockyt (Kapulica 86′), Mitrović (Vujnović 88′) – Matavž (Jurić 76′)
OSIJEK: Malenica – Manev (Omerović 46′), Bralić, Duarte – Gržan, Nejašmić (Pušić 78′), Jugović, Brlek (Hiroš 78′), Drambaev – Bukvić (Lovrić 46′), Mierez

This season, Osijek cannot put together a game, and Gorica seems to have overpaid for the “big four”, even though only Rijeka managed to beat them with one unplayed game. With this victory, Gorica moved to fourth place in the league rankings. In this way, Gorica showed that it can compete in European competitions.

There is not much to say about the game, but the biggest problem is in the game of Osijek itself. Osijek’s game and way of approaching the game is a bit reminiscent of Hajduk. They started to untangle themselves and talk a lot. Osijek needs to develop its game and have continuity. Because two positive results in a row are not continuity, but rather a small “flash”. It’s not a problem that something wasn’t awarded to you, but how you play the whole game.

And the real question is who is the “big four”? What is being done in the preparations? What is being done in recruiting and scouting players?

HAJDUK – RUDEŠ 1:0 (Trajkovski 47′)
HAJDUK: Lučić – Moufi (Dajaku 46′), Šarlija, Uremović, Diallo – Sigur, Žaper – Benrahou (Kalik 72′), Pukštas (Odjidja-Ofoe 87′), Sahiti (Brajković 90’+1′) – Trajkovski (Čuić 72′)
RUDEŠ: Marković – Tomečak, Matić, Pavlović, Pavković (Camara 85′) – Bašić, Pasariček, Vukmanović (Vidović 73′) – Pešić (Rešetar 73′), Topić (Petković 57′) – Kovačević (from 57. Simović)

Rudeš recorded another defeat and that makes him, definitely, the worst first-league player in the history of the HNL. Hajduk managed to somehow win with a miserable game. Nothing has been shown. It’s no wonder the fans booed them off the pitch. Points are accumulated for “muscles”, but the question is until when.

VARAŽDIN – DINAMO 1:1 (Drožđek 53′ / Emreli 90’+4′)
VARAŽDIN: Zelenika – Vukčević, Pëllumbi, Jelenić, Boršić (Bručić 46′) – Postonjski, Pilj (Belcar 74′), Elezi (Mištrafović 80′) – Mitrovski, Šego, Drožđek (Škaričić 80′)
DINAMO: Zagorac – Ristovski, Theophile, Šutalo (Emreli 74′), Perković – Mišić, Sučić (Ademi 59′) – Kaneko, Baturina, Vidović (Špikić 75′) – Drmić (Bulat 59′)

It seemed that Varaždin would return to a positive atmosphere, and Dinamo would once again dive into a completely negative atmosphere. Varaždin didn’t park the “bus” in their penalty area but had some opportunities. Of course, Dinamo had possession and had chances, but again there was no realization until the end of the match and the equalizing goal.

Several opportunities on both sides marked the first half, although Dinamo had more. At the beginning of the second half, Varaždin managed to take the lead from a counterattack. Drožek was the shooter. And then again the same story. Dinamo had possession of the ball and some chances, but the goal was only scored in stoppage time. Emreli was the scorer in the 94th minute.

ISTRIA 1961 – SLAVEN BELUPO 2:0 (Mlinar 8′, Erceg 90′)
ISTRA 1961: Majkić – Kadušić, Majstorović, Marešić, Douglas (Valinčić 30′) – Blagojević, Mlinar (Čuić 84′), Maurić – Lisica (Ćalušić 64′), Filet (Erceg 64′), Vuk (Iovu 46′)
SLAVEN BELUPO: Sušak – Međimorec, Boras, Božić, Štefulj – Lepinjica, Agbekpornu (Cascini 46′) – Liber, Mioč, Šakota (Ortiz 62′) – Štrkalj (Kamberi 62′)

Both teams came into the match with one goal in mind. The goal was to run away from the last Rudeš. It was a pleasant time to play matches at Aldo Drosina. The hosts even played most of the game without Majstorović. Even with one player less, Istria scored two goals. Mlinar scored first in the 8th minute, and Erceg scored towards the end of the match, in the 90th minute, to increase the lead and the final score.

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