HNL Week 11
Dinamo Zagreb remain on top of the table after a convincing home win over NK Osijek.
The Modri pulled off a 4-1 win at Maksimir on a rain-soaked pitch that has been described to be in “water polo condition” that kept the fans at home.
A reported 477 fans attended the match, but surely that number included the players on the field, coaching staff, and stadium attendants because seats at Maksimir were bare.
That didn’t hinder the impressive performance by the young goalscorer, Armin Hoždić though.
Hoždić scored twice in the match, first in the 12th minute and again in the 40th.
Angelo Henriquez added a goal in the 17th minute and Mario Muša scored the fourth goal for Dinamo in the 79th minute.
Osijek were able to get on the board in the 83rd minute thanks to the effort from Alen Grgić.
Hajduk Split faced their little brothers across town when paying a visit to the home of RNK Split.
The two teams faced off in the derby of St. Duje where Hajduk emerged as victors and are keeping pace with Dinamo who are only three points clear of the Bili.
Split had the first opportunity of the match when Drazen Bagarić put a shot on goal in the 12th minute, but Lovre Kalinić made it look easy when making the save.
Hajduk scored the first of their two goals in the 45th minute when Tino-Sven Šušić sent in a perfect ball to Nikola Vlašić who beat Danijel Zagorac in goal
Hajduk doubled their lead in the 48th minute thanks to Mijo Caktaš who finished the play after receiving a cross from Hrvoje Milić from the left side.
The two goals were more than enough for Hajduk to take all three of the well-deserved points and remain in second place on the table.
Slaven Belupo have emerged as one of the toughest teams to beat at home despite their poor performance this season.
The Pharmacists played HNK Rijeka to a scoreless draw over the weekend in Koprivnica and have once again earned at least a point at home.
Slaven has had one loss in their last 23 home matches. Their last home loss was in April 2015 against Hajduk Split. Their last home loss before that? Against Hajduk Split in October of 2014.
Rijeka goalkeeper Ivan Vargić recorded his eighth consecutive clean sheet this season. Vargić has not given up a goal in 695 minutes, which his last goal scored against him coming in the 25th minute of the match on Aug. 2 against NK Lokomotiva.
Rijeka have also gone two consecutive matches without scoring a goal, leaving them in third place, one point behind Hajduk.
NK Zagreb remain without a win after the 11th week of play this season.
The Poets suffered a defeat at the hands of NK Inter Zaprešić and the amazing Ilja Nestorovski.
Nestorovski scored a hat trick during the match to give his team the 3-2 victory and all three points and scored in the 38th, 67th, and 76th minutes.
Zagreb wasn’t without scoring prowess of their own thanks to Gabrijel Boban’s two goals in the 41st and 81st minutes, but it wasn’t enough to take any points from Inter.
Nestorovski is the co-league leader in goals with Armin Hoždić. Both players have scored seven goals in 11 matches.
Inter Zaprešić now sit in sixth place in the table.
NK Zagreb is in dire straits and are likely candidates for relegation, even in this early stage of the season.
The depleted roster is struggling without the likes of Filip Krovinović who departed the team for better play in Portugal and Josip Jurendić who now plays in Prague. Injured players like Dino Štiglec and Božo Muša are tough losses as well.
NK Istra 1961 broke a seven-match winless streak against NK Lokomotiva on Sunday.
Igor Pamić’s crew spoiled the debut of new Lokomotiva coach Sreten Čuk with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Aldo Drosina.
The Lokosi were in control of the match in the beginning when Franko Andrijašević scored the opening goal in the 26th minute but Nikola Žižić was able to tie the match just before the half’s end in the 43rd minute.
Both teams were in search of the winning goal but it seemed as if the two were destined to split the points, extending Istra’s winless streak to eight matches.
Stefan Nikolić did not let that happen and scored the winning goal for Istra in the 90th minute.
Milan Djurić sent in a long pass to Nikolić who scored on Oliver Zelenika from close range to win the match.
Istian goalkeeper, Vanja Ivešić was again a key member of Istra’s performance and made several pivotal saves that kept his team’s hopes alive.