Dinamo Zagreb has re established itself on top of the table after beating RNK Split 3-0 on Saturday at Maksimir…
Until yesterday, Split reigned as the league leader but suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of the Modri.
Split had a scoring chance early in the match and forced Eduardo to make a big save in the fifth minute to keep the match tied.
Only three minutes later, another near-goal for Split arose thanks to an unforced error from Josip Pivarić who attempted a back pass to Eduardo but miss played the ball. Pivarić sent the ball inches away from goal, but avoided embarrassment and scoring on his own team as the ball rolled out of bounds for a corner kick.
Dinamo soon regained composure and began putting pressure on Split and creating scoring chances themselves. In the 28th minute, Dinamo’s efforts paid off and El Arbi Hillel Soudani scored the match’s first goal.
Ante Čorić brought the ball down the left side and beat defender Jure Obišvač twice with an impressive display of footwork before sending a cross that Soudani met with a header to score the match’s first goal.
Jeremy Taravel was eager to double Dinamo’s lead and used a free-kick opportunity to create an attempt on goal. Taravel lined up for a free kick nearly 30 yards out and sent a laser on net, but Danijel Zagorac tracked the shot well and dove out to make the save.
“Plavi, Plavi” was played over the PA system for a second time in the opening second of the second half after Paulo Machado scored to make it 2-0 for Dinamo.
This time, it was Soudani who put on the fancy footwork moves on the Split defense before sending the ball perfectly in line with Machado’s run towards goal. Machado easily beat Zagorac with a simple tap of the ball.
Split’s Dražen Bargarić nearly put his team on the scoreboard but failed to score on a breakaway opportunity. Bargarić found himself one-on-one with Eduardo, but the experienced goalkeeper immediately came to the top of the box and did well cutting off the angle for Bagarić.
Bagaric was able to get his own rebound, but Eduardo was still there and dove on the ball that Bargarić had at his feet.
Dinamo’s final goal was the most impressive of the day, and took only five touches from four players to finish it.
Taravel sent the ball to Domagoj Antolić who cleverly flicked the ball to Junior Fernandes. Fernandes immediately returned it to Antolić who then sent it across the face of the goal to Angelo Henriquez, the goalscorer who tapped it in with the final touch.
Dinamo are once again at the top of the table, but the question is who will dethrone them? Dinamo have already faced Hajduk Split, Rijeka, and RNK Split. With some of the toughest matches of the season already completed, will any other team be able to force Dinamo to drop any points?
Dinamo will now go on to face Albania’s Skënderbeu Korçë in the first leg of the Champions League playoff round.
The Jadranski Derbi tok place on Saturday, but was underwhelming in the scoring department and ended with a 0-0 draw…
Rijeka has extended their unbeaten run against Hajduk to 12 consecutive matches.
The match which tool place at Rijeka’s temporary home, Rujevica, had every other aspect you would expect from a heated rivalry; six yellow cards, two red cards, and some of the most passionate fans Europe has to offer. From the first minute, Rijeka controlled the ball in the contest and showed more offense than they did in the entire match against Dinamo last week.
But Rijeka was at a disadvantage come the 15th minute when Moises and Josip Juranović were sparring for the ball when Moises elbow seemed to have hit Juranović’s jaw.
The referee’s decision was a surprise and issued a straight red card to the Brazilian. Moises’ pleas were in vain and he was sent off.
The disadvantage did not seem to deter Rijeka too much from trying to take the lead, and had several quality scoring chances before the half’s end.
Hajduk also pushed for the elusive goal with quality chances of their own, but neither team was able to make their chances count.
The second half saw the playing fields even out with an issuing of a red card to Hajduk’s defender, Julian Velazquez.
Velazquez’s debut with his new club did not go as planned and was sent off after a late and reckless tackle on Stefan Ristofski. Each team finished the match with 10 men and were forced to split the points despite a fair amount of quality scoring chances.
Rijeka will travel to Split next week to face RNK Split while Hajduk will first focus on the Europa League playoff this week, then face NK Osijek at Poljud.
Rijeka and Dinamo are the only clubs remaining without a loss this season.
NK Inter Zaprešić got their first win this weekend against the likes of Slaven Belupo…
Inter, led by talented goal scorer, Ilja Nestorovski, won with a score of 2-1.
The victory for Inter was well deserved, but was not an easy one. Inter went down 1-0 early in the match after Slaven’s Mate Delić scored in the 31st minute.
But Inter’s resiliency showed. The team came out in the second half determined to score the tying goal. Their aggressive play paid off in the 58th minute with a goal from Ivan Blazević.
Blazević’s goal came from a free kick 25 yards out that he bent in to the goal. The impressive free kick was sent over the wall and dipped into the lower far corner of the goal, leaving the goalkeeper no chance.
Inter got some help with a man advantage in the 58th minute after Filip Ozobić’s flying kick landed in the head and neck region of Dominik Glavina.
Ozobić was rightfully issued a straight red card and sent off. Glavina would remain in the game until being subbed off for tactical reasons in the 72nd minute.
Nestorovski was the hero of Zaprešić again after he headed home the game winning goal. Nestorovski jumped up for a free header upon the arrival of the ball that was crossed in over the goal box. Slaven’s Dino Stiglec just helplessly watched as Nestorovski scored.
Inter move up to sixth place with the victory.
NK Zagreb now remain the only team without a win…
Zagreb and NK Istra 1961 played to a 1-1 draw over the weekend, further extending the gap between Istra and the top of the table.
The former leaders of the league are now three points behind the top.
Zagreb’s Filip Kovinović put his team in the lead with his 47th minute goal. The visitors from Pula tied the match in the 62nd minute with Nikola Zizić scored.
The teams split the points and Zagreb remains in last place while Istra rest in third place.