PHOTO: Bracopone


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This weekend was the last round of the HNL this year, and the Croatian derby was played in Maksimir, which ended without a winner.

GORICA – VARAŽDIN 1:3 (Matavž 81’/Šego 59′, Drožđek 72′, Brodić 73′)
GORICA: Banić – Munksgaard (Ilečić 46′), Maloča, Leš, Štiglec – Raspopović (Matković 76′), Soldo – Blummel (Matavž 64′), Pršir, Kapulica (Kapulica 64′) – Vujnović (Fall 82′)
VARAŽDIN: Zelenika – Vukčević, Škaričić (Nekić 38′), Jelenić, Boršić – Postonjski, Pilj (Lusavec 90′), Marina – Mitrovski (Brodić 70′), Šego, Drožđek (Vukušić 90′)

Until this match, Gorica had been unbeaten in 17 games on home turf. Varaždin broke that trend, winning 3:1 and taking three points from Velika Gorica. Of course, completely deserved. Varaždin was a much better and better quality team, while Gorica played the worst game of the season.

Gorica opened the game better and created several chances. But then Varaždin takes control and creates opportunities of its own that it did not realize. And there is something to be sorry about. In the first half at least. But everything somehow paid off in the second half.

As the strong wind was blowing, Gorica played against the wind in the first half, and they could not create anything. They seemed eager for the first half to end. Meanwhile, at Varaždin, Škaričić was injured, so in the 38th minute, Ivan Nekić had to step into his place.

There were no goals in the first half, but after the 15th minute of the game in the second half, Šego scored for Varaždin to take the lead. It was a payment for all the opportunities they had created up until then. Varaždin continues in its own way, and continues to attack in this way. In the 72nd minute, Držđek increases the lead, and a minute later Brodić scores the third goal for Varaždin. In the 81st minute, Gorica reduced the score via Matavž.

LOKOMOTIVA- ISTRA 1961 3:0 (Goričan 43′, Žilinski 60′, Mudražija 90’+2′)
LOKOMOTIVA: Čavlina – Bartolec, Živković, Mersinaj (Kalaica 72′), Leovac (Miličević 46′) – Bubanja, Marić – Šotiček (Mudražija 46′, Canjuga 90’+4′), Krivak (Žilinski 56′), Goričan – Tuci
ISTRA 1961: Majkić – Valinčić (Douglas 67′), Majstorović, Marešić, Devetak (Ekong 67′) – Ćalušić (Čuić 78′), Blagojević (Petrusenko 67′), Maurić – Matheus (Filet 57′), Erceg, Vuk

This wasn’t a particularly meaningful match, but Lokomotiva beat Istra 3:0. This was Lokomotiva’s first win since the beginning of October. They also played against the same opponent then, but it was played in Pula. With this victory, Lokomotiva jumped to the sixth place, and Istria is not in the penultimate place.

In the first half, the game was equal, and the early part of the game was marked by long-range shots towards the goal. There were opportunities, but we waited until the 43rd minute for the first goal. Goričan scored and thus brought Lokomotiva to the lead.

The start of the second half was not meaningful and was boring. But the lead increased in the 60th minute, when Žilinski scored. Mudražija scored the third goal for the home team in the second minute of stoppage time to set the final score.

RIJEKA – RUDEŠ 3:0 (Ivanović 14′, 63′, Pjaca 74′)
RIJEKA: Labrović – Bogojević (Veiga 75′), Dilaver, Mitrović, Smolčić – Hodža – Pašalić (Grgić 86′), Fruk (Ilinković 82′), Janković, Pjaca (Banda 75′) – Ivanović (Obregon 82′)
RUDEŠ: Marković (Kralj 43′) – Krušlin, Pavlović, Campos, Šehić – Srbljinović (Vukmanović 46′), Bašić – Pešić (Kovačević 61′), Pasariček, Oddei (Špeljak 61′) – Topić (Rešetar 75′)

Rijeka was dominating against Rudes. They easily won 3:0 and left Rijeka with three points. The visitors didn’t have much chance against a club that can do very good and useful things in the top of the HNL. Rijeka as such can be very satisfied with the first part of the season.

However, Ivanovic scored in the 14th minute to give the home team the lead, but the second goal was scored in the 63rd minute. The scorer of the second goal was Ivanović again. In the 74th minute of the match, Pjaca scored the final score of 3:0 for the hosts of this match. Rijeka dominated and won deservedly.

OSIJEK – SLAVEN BELUPO 4:1 (Lovrić 17′, 31′, Omerović 49′, Mierez 88’/ Šakota 66′)
OSIJEK: Malenica – Prekodravac (Mkrtčjan 75′), Duarte, Bralić – Gržan (Guedes 83′), Nejašmić, Pušić, Omerović (Živković 87′) – Bukvić (Zebec 87′), Lovrić (Caktaš 75′) – Mierez
SLAVEN BELUPO: Čović – Pllana (Hlevnjak 83′), Boras, Božić, Štefulj – Lepinjica, Caimacov – Liber (Šakota 58′), Mioč, Hoxha – Štrkalj (Ortiz 58′)

Slaven Belupo can’t seem to think of Opus Arena. This was the second game of the season between these two clubs in the same stadium. And once again, Osijek dominated and managed to win the game with ease. The direction of the match was known from the start.

Ramon Mierez and Kristijan Lovrić dominated the pitch, and Osijek left home with three points. In this way, he ended a streak of six games without victory. Thus, Slaven Belupo was left without another surprise after defeating Rijeka away last weekend.

The smallest number of people gathered in the stadium so far in the championship, regardless of the fact that Lovrić scored the first two goals. The first scored in the 17th minute, and the second 14 minutes later. The score did not change until the end of the first half, even though Osijek was dominant.

In the rest of the game, we did not have to wait long for the goal. Omerović scored Osijek’s third goal in the 49th minute of the match. In the 66th minute, Šakota reduces the score, and in the 88th minute, Mierez sets the final score of the game.

There weren’t many spectators at the stadium. Perhaps because Osijek plays hot and cold and no one knows what to expect from a club that wants to fight for European competitions, but also for something more. We’ll see what happens in the second part of the championship.

: Zagorac – Ristovski, Theophile, Perić, Perković – Mišić, Ademi – Kaneko, Baturina (Bulat 63′), Špikić (Vidović 63′) – Petković
HAJDUK: Lučić – Moufi, Šarlija, Uremović, Diallo – Sigur (Elez 88′), Krovinović – Sahiti (Odjidja-Ofoe 83′), Pukštas, Benrahou (Dajaku 29′) – Livaja

This was a very tough match. The game, which bears the name of derby, did not justify that meaning. Maybe on paper it is like that, but what was shown was one big NOTHING. Neither Dinamo nor Hajduk were concrete. That is, Hajduk defended and crossed the center of the pitch several times, while Dinamo had possession of the ball and again did not achieve anything with it.

Dinamo had several good opportunities, but one was used around the 80th minute when it seemed that Dinamo would take the lead. But the reaction from the VAR room was that it was played with a hand. With that, the goal was canceled. But not to play an obvious penalty kick in stoppage time, you have to be a complete idiot for that, not a great hope of the referee. When you have an attack and active play, you judge the end. You must be a complete dimwitted jerk. Some would say that these are difficult words, but they are actually the simplest and easiest that can exist.

But regardless of the fact that Croatian referees are very bad, there is no excuse for this kind of game. It does not represent the clubs that are fighting for the league title. Realistically, you have to have game and smarts to succeed in your intentions. Dinamo and Hajduk did not justify their statuses in this game. For playing like this, they should be deducted points, so maybe they would start playing. Shameful game of all participants in this match.

As far as cheering goes, the home team was better. And it would be a pity if they didn’t. There are no words for the visiting supporters. From the 90th minute, roughly half an hour of cheering where 80% of the time they insult others. And then they are surprised by a miracle when someone warns them about something. Although the home fans are not something special, they were better again. And as for the names of the clubs, for Hajduk it is known how they got their name, and if anyone does not know, let them find out who ”hajduci” really were.

All in all, it’s a shame for both clubs.

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