A review and highlights of Round 20 of the Croatian first division, including a superb strike from Dinamo Zagreb’s Croatia international striker Marko Pjaca…
By: Croatian Sports
Not much was to be seen on Sunday’s match between Dinamo Zagreb and NK Osijek in the Garden City, but Dinamo did managed to score a single goal to defeat their opponents 1-0…
But still, not much to see – literally.
Dense fog crept over the stadium in Osijek during the second half, leaving zero visibility for fans in the stands or fans watching at home. The fog was so dense, that many believe the game should have been halted, but he referee disagreed and allowed play to continue in the treacherous conditions.
Davor Šuker, head of the HNS, came out on Monday defending the decision of the referee, saying, “League rules allow play to continue as long as you can see the goals from mid field.”
It is hard to believe that that was possible, but play continued and the score ended 1-0.
Dinamo’s goal was scored prior to the fogoctolyps buy Marko Pjaca in the 41st minute.
Pjaca made an impressive individual effort to take on four Osijek defenders and smash the ball into the net for the game’s only goal. Dinamo enrolled in their fifth consecutive victory and remain in first place in the league.
The Splitski Derbi went off without a hitch on Saturday, with the exception for the lack of goals…
The two teams split the points after a scoreless draw.
Few chances were taken by Split who held tightly in the back line, and forced Hajduk to try to crack the code of the Split defense. Hajduk was unable to get passed the bus parked in front of the Split goal, and never really threatened to score.
Both teams moved the ball up and down the field, but when it counted, neither side was able to make the difference. Nikola Vlašić and Mijo Caktaš both had their chances to score, but failed to do so when the time was right.
Hajduk remain in third place while Split stay in fourth.
Rijeka’s recent struggles continue as they finished their match against Slaven Belupo with their third draw in the past five matches…
Marin Tomasov scored first for Rijeka in the 25th minute, but Slaven were able to bridge the gap and tied the match with a goal from David Arap late in the game in the 71st minute.
Vedran Jugović was left shaking his head after missing a “gimmie-goal” that could have put his team out in front.
Rijeka could have tied Dinamo with the win; instead they remain in second place, two points behind the leaders.
The real excitement this weekend came from an unlikely source in Zagreb…
The match at Kranjčevićeva featuring NK Lokomotiva and Istra 1961 saw five goals and two sending offs in this back and forth contest.
Ivan Fiolić, the former Dinamo youth standout who cut ties with the Modri over his contract between them and Lokomotiva, scored two in the match to help his team defeat visiting Istra.
Fiolić scored in the 30th minute only to see his lead slip away two minutes later when Stefan Nikolić tied the match with a penalty shot. Franko Andrejašević regained the lead in the 48th minute, but again, Nikolić took the lead away with his 71st minute goal.
Nikolić’s second came on the heels of Dino Perić being sent off with his second yellow card in the 63rd minute, leaving Istra with the man advantage that most certainly paid off.
But Istra squandered away their chances of getting a point on the road when Damir Zlomišlić was sent off for his second yellow of the day in the 77th minute. This evened out the man power and Fiolić took advantage of it in the 90th minute with the game-winning goal.
Lokomotiva remain in fifth place while Istra’s season continues to spiral down to the bottom.
The Ilja Nestorovski show has returned as Inter Zaprešić drew NK Zagreb 2-2 in a wild match on Friday afternoon…
Gabrijel Boban put Zagreb in the lead in the 33rd minute, but it was Nestorovski who made Boban’s goal null and void with his goal in the 54th minute.
It was Nestorvski again, this time in the 57th minute from the penalty spot who scored again to put Inter out in front. Dino Bevab was sent off for his second yellow of the day after committing the foul that led to Nestorovski’s goal
But Zagreb, who looked to be growing weary of loss after loss every week, knotted it up while being a man down when Valentino Stepcić scored in the 66th minute. Zagreb struggled through the rest of the match after going down to only eight men by the end of the match.
Goalkeeper Dominik Livaković and Edin Sehić were both sent off in the 82nd and 84th minute of the match, leaving Zagreb desperate to finish the match. Jakša Herceg came in to replace Livaković and saved the ensuing penalty to keep the match tied.
The two teams deservedly split the points. Zagreb remains in last place while Inter enjoy their first season back in the HNL and sit in sixth place.
Standings after Round 20: