Monday, 6 December 2021

Croatian Cup Semifinal Draw: Osijek, Rijeka, Gorica, and Hajduk Learn Opponents

December 6, 2021 - The Croatian Cup semifinal draw was held at the Croatian Football Federation headquarters on Monday. 

In the Croatian Football Cup semifinals, Rijeka will play against Osijek at Rujevica Stadium and Hajduk will face Gorica at Poljud, according to the draw held on Monday in Zagreb.

The semifinal matches will be played on March 1 and 2, 2022. There were no top seeds in the draw and the semifinals will be played in one match.

The Cup final will be played on May 22 next year at Poljud Stadium in Split.

This is a great opportunity for Hajduk, which has played 19 consecutive Cup games away. Hajduk last won the Cup in 2013, which is also the last trophy for the Split club. Hajduk has the chance to play two home games in the Cup and a historic opportunity for their first trophy in eight years. The last time Split hosted the Cup was in March 2016 in the semifinal match against Dinamo.

The Rijeka and Osijek match will certainly be a bit more competitive, though Rijeka will have the home pitch advantage. 

Split will be the seventh different host of the final match for the Croatian Cup since the decision was made in 2016 that only one match will decide the winner of this trophy. The hosts of the previous six finals were Osijek, Varaždin, Vinkovci, Pula, Šibenik, and Velika Gorica.

Recall, in the quarterfinal matches which were played on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, Gorica topped Istra on penalties, Hajduk beat Lokomotiva 6:3, and Osijek beat Belupo on penalties. In the last quarterfinal, Rijeka knocked out Dinamo 3:1, which forced the resignation of Dinamo coach Damir Krznar. 

The sports betting company SuperSport became the title sponsor of the Croatian Football Cup this year. The most massive football competition thus bears the name SuperSport Croatian Football Cup for the 2021/22 season.

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Thursday, 2 December 2021

2022 Croatian Cup Final to be Played at Poljud Stadium in Split

December 2, 2021 - After the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup quarterfinal matches came to a close on Wednesday, the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation decided that the Croatian Cup final match would be played in Split, namely at Poljud Stadium.

This season, the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final will be played at Poljud Stadium, which is comforting news for Hajduk fans after the Split club advanced to the semifinals with a victory against Lokomotiva Tuesday. The Croatian Football Federation decided on Poljud after choosing between Karlovac, Koprivnica, and Split, reports HNS.

At the suggestion of the HNS Competition Commission, the Executive Board of the Federation decided that the final of the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup will be played at the Poljud Stadium in Split and that the final match will be played on May 26, 2022. It will be the first Croatian Cup final at Poljud played in a single game.

On Monday at 11 am, the draw will decide which pairs are in the semifinals. Gorica, Hajduk, Osijek, and Rijeka remain in the competition, and the matches are scheduled for March 2022. 

After the draw at noon, Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić will meet with HNS president Marijan Kustić at the federation's headquarters on Vukovarska, a year after meeting with his predecessor Davor Šuker, when he said he would "leave the federation alone," reports 24 Sata

Since 2016, when the Croatian Cup changed the format and one final match was introduced, the Cup final has been hosted by Osijek, Varaždin, Vinkovci, Pula, Šibenik, and Velika Gorica.

Recall, in the quarterfinal matches which were played on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Gorica topped Istra on penalties, Hajduk beat Lokomotiva 6:3, and Osijek beat Belupo on penalties. In the last quarterfinal, Rijeka knocked out Dinamo 3:1, which forced the resignation of Dinamo coach Damir Krznar. 

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Thursday, 2 December 2021

Damir Krznar Sacked as Dinamo Coach After Croatian Cup Elimination

December 2, 2021 - After Rijeka won in the Croatian Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday, the coach of the Croatian champion Dinamo, Damir Krznar, has resigned.

Krznar took over Dinamo in mid-March this year after being assistant to former coach Zoran Mamić. Recall, Mamić had to leave the Dinamo bench due to a final conviction. Krznar led the team in a 3:0 victory against Tottenham in the Europa League round of 16, reported HRT.

Dinamo has been in a crisis and lost 1:3 to Rijeka under Krznar's leadership in the Croatian Cup on Wednesday. 

Dinamo on Sunday expects the eternal derby against Hajduk in the 18th round of the First HNL and in eight days a visit to West Ham United in the last, 6th round of Europa League. 

Krznar took responsibility in a statement after the relegation in the Cup, 

"The fact that the result was not obtained, that the result was not delivered, both in the Cup and in the championship - we are limping. We have an extremely tough game against Hajduk; we enter it shaken. My moral act is to do everything for the team. Dinamo has always been in the first place. It is the team that comes first. I assess that at this moment, the team needs a positive shock. Maybe it is a good opportunity, as I address our fans, to thank them for their support, those who gave their support, and to apologize to those who did not have enough and who are dissatisfied with the reason. Right now, I may still be a little hot, but I don't think the situation will change tomorrow either. I am resigning from this position for the team to make one positive step, one mental shock, which is needed. I wish luck to the new coach; I wish luck to Dinamo," said Krznar.

Who will lead Dinamo in their next two key games will be known today after an 11 am press conference.

Željko Kopić, the head of Dinamo's football school and the most experienced of the remaining experts employed in Maksimir, should lead the team in the derby on Sunday. But, depending on that outcome, he may end the winter season on the bench.

Dinamo's management is expected to appoint a new head coach during the winter break, but more will be known after today's conference.

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Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Croatian Cup Quarterfinals: Osijek Wins on Penalties, Rijeka Knocks Out Dinamo for Semis

December 1, 2021 - The Croatian Cup quarterfinals came to an end on Wednesday as Osijek topped Slaven Belupo on penalties and Rijeka knocked out Dinamo 3:1 at Maksimir to secure their spots in the semifinals. 

Osijek became the third semifinalist of this season's Croatian Cup on Wednesday, beating Slaven Belupo 5:4 on penalties after no goals were scored in 120 minutes at City Garden Stadium. 

Although there were no goals, this quarterfinal match was full of events, as both teams missed a penalty during regulation time and both finished the match with 10 players in extra time. 

In the 94th minute, Žaper received a direct red card, and in the 108th minute, Kvržić was booked for his second yellow card. 

During the penalty shootout, Belupo was first to gain the advantage after Osijek captain Škorić shook the crossbar, but Goda missed immediately after. In the sixth round, Zirdum hit the crossbar, and Daku was precise for Osijek to push them into the top four.

Osijek thus joined Gorica and Hajduk, which reached the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Gorica beat Istra 1961 on penalties, and Hajduk defeated Lokomotiva 6-3 in Zagreb. 

Dinamo and Rijeka met in the last quarterfinal match at Maksimir on Wednesday. 

Obregon scored Rijeka's first goal in the 27th minute for the 0:1 lead. Josip Drmić scored three minutes later to make it 0:2 for Rijeka at the half. 

Dinamo couldn't score until the 73rd minute when Marko Tolić gave the home team hope for 1:2. 

Dinamo could not equalize even in the nearly 8 minutes of stoppage time added by the referee, and after putting in a last-minute effort, it was Rijeka to secure the last Croatian Cup semifinal spot with a goal in the 98th minute for 1:3. 

Rijeka, Gorica, Osijek, and Hajduk will fight in the Croatian Cup semifinals in the spring of 2022.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Croatian Cup Quarterfinals: Gorica Wins on Penalties, Hajduk Tops Lokomotiva 6:3 for Semis!

November 30, 2021 - The first day of the Croatian Cup quarterfinals came to a close, with Gorica and Hajduk securing their spot in the semifinals!

Gorica was the first to qualify for the Croatian Cup semifinals, defeating Istria 1961 at home on penalties, 6-4 (2-2, 2-2). 

By the 96th minute, Istra had the semifinal match in their hands. With two goals, Beljo had Istra up 2-1, but in the last seconds, Kristijan Lovrić scored, and in the penalty shootout, the hero was Gorica goalkeeper Dominik Kotarski, who stopped two shots.

Assisted by Serderov, Beljo put Istra in the lead in the 10th minute. Dieye equalized in the 2nd minute of stoppage time for 1-1 at the half. 

Dieye tried increased Gorica's lead in the 68th minute though his goal was called offside thanks to VAR. Beljo put Istra back in the lead for 1-2 in the 83rd minute. 

A last-minute equalizer came for Gorica when hero Lovrić scored in the 6th minute of stoppage time to send the match to extra time. 

VAR canceled another Gorica goal in the 98th minute, and the match ultimately finished on penalties. Iličić and Silva were stopped by the Gorica keeper, giving Gorica the penalty shootout victory and semifinal spot. 

In the wild second quarterfinal match, Hajduk topped Lokomotiva 6-3 in Zagreb. 

Krovinović gave Hajduk the early lead with a goal in the 7th minute for 0-1. A penalty was awarded to Lokomotiva which Pivarić nailed in the 3rd minute of stoppage time for 1-1 at the half. 

The second half was one to remember. Atanasov nailed the far post from the goal line in the 51st minute for 1-2, which Ljubičić increased to 1-3 two minutes later. Livaja made it 1-4 for Hajduk in the 57th!

Dabro gave Lokomotiva some hope in the 59th minute with a goal for 2-4, but Atanasov increased Hajduk's lead to 2-5 with a rocket from 30 meters out for 2-5. Hajduk's goal in the 71st minute was called offside by VAR, but Sahiti's goal in the 90th minute made it 6-2 for the Split club. 

An own goal by Elez gave Lokomotiva their third goal of the match in the 4th minute of stoppage time for the final 3-6, and Hajduk has comfortably booked their spot in the semifinal. 

Osijek and Slaven Belupo will meet Wednesday at 4 pm, and Dinamo and Rijeka at 6:30 pm.

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Friday, 29 October 2021

Croatian Cup Quarterfinal Draw Announced, Matches Begin December 1

October 29, 2021 - The Croatian Cup quarterfinal draw was held today, revealing some exciting meetings on December 1. 

When Rijeka and Oriolik play the remaining round of 16 match next month, we will know the final list of Croatian Cup quarterfinalists. However, the matchups have been revealed today in a draw for the quarterfinal games on December 1, reports Gol.hr.

The biggest news is that Dinamo has been drawn against Oriolik / Rijeka. Therefore, Dinamo will play at home, most likely against Rijeka, which will be a real treat after the intense championship matches between these two clubs this season.

Twice this season, Dinamo and Rijeka played 3:3, which makes this Cup meeting even more special. But, of course, Dinamo and Rijeka will meet only if Oriolik does not pull an upset. 

Dinamo and Hajduk also play at Maksimir that weekend in the Croatian championship, meaning that the HNL match could easily be postponed for some time in the spring.

Hajduk and Lokomotiva will meet once again in Zagreb. The match is scheduled for December 1, and it will be the 19th consecutive Cup match that Hajduk will play against Lokomotiva away.

In addition to the 2018 final match that was played in Vinkovci, this means that Hajduk did not play a total of 20 Cup games at Poljud stadium.

Hajduk played its last home game in the Cup five and a half years ago, or in March 2016 in the semifinal match against Dinamo.

It should also be said that Hajduk could not even host until the round of 16 due to the rules because the hosts are always lower-ranked clubs. As for the quarterfinal draw, this is now the seventh time in a row that it has gone to the away team. 

Quarterfinal matches (December 1):

Dinamo - Oriolik/Rijeka

Lokomotiva – Hajduk

Osijek - Slaven Belupo

Gorica - Istra 1961

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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Dinamo, Gorica, Istra 1961, Lokomotiva Secure Croatian Cup Quarterfinals

October 27, 2021 - Dinamo, Gorica, Istra 1961, and Lokomotiva are the latest Croatian clubs to advance to the Croatian Cup quarterfinals. 

Dinamo secured a spot in the Croatian Cup quarterfinals. After a lot of trouble, the Blues defeated the leading team of the 2nd HNL BSK 3:2 away in Bijelo Brdo.

The Zagreb club took a quick lead in the second minute of the match thanks to Amir Gojak. However, BSK's Mory Gbane equalized in the 33rd minute.

Two minutes later, Josip Čikvar scored for 2:1 BSK after a mistake by Dinamo goalkeeper Vladimir Zagorec.

However, Dinamo equalized in the 39th minute thanks to Komnen Andrić, and Mislav Oršić brought Dinamo the victory in the 71st minute. 

Gorica also advanced to the Croatian Cup quarterfinals after beating Mladost Ždralovi 2:0 in the round of 16.

Vlatko Stojanovski scored for Gorica in the 41st minute and Martin Šroler in the 60th for the final 2:0. 

Istria 1961 also reached the quarterfinals after beating Rudar 3:2 in the round of 16 in Labin.

It was the 'Istrian Derby' where the victory went to the Pula club, although Rudar offered excellent resistance.

Istra took the lead in the 6th minute with a goal by Drena Beljo, but the 3rd division team turned the score around with goals by Tina Licul (32') and Lorenzo Boucaux (52)'.

Beljo equalized with his second goal in the 70th minute, and Serder Serderov brought Istra the victory seven minutes later for the final 3:2.

Lokomotiva defeated Varaždin in the final Wednesday match for the Croatian Cup quarterfinals, winning 3:2 in Varaždin. 

Lokomotiva led from the 6th minute when Aliyu scored for 0:1. Varaždin equalized in the 22nd minute when Stolnik cheated Nevistić with his head.

In the 28th minute, Stolnik pulled Aliyu by the hand, and Pivarić scored for 1:2 Lokomotiva. 

Varaždin opened the second half a bit better and equalized thanks to Postonjski in the 49th minute. However, Kacavenda's goal in the 72nd minute allowed Lokomotiva to retake the lead and ultimately the win. 

Hajduk, Osijek, and Slaven Belupo advanced to the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Rijeka and Oriolik will play the final round of 16 match on November 13. 

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Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Osijek, Hajduk, and Slaven Belupo First to Secure Croatian Cup Quarterfinals

October 26, 2021 - The Croatian Cup quarterfinals began on Tuesday, with the first teams securing their spot in the next round of the competition. 

Osijek was the first to advance to the Croatian Cup quarterfinals, topping second division team Rudeš 2:0 (0:0) in Zagreb.

After a more reserved first half, Osijek increased the tempo in the second half and deservedly won. The goals were scored by Ivan Fiolić and Ramon Mierez in the second half. Osijek coach Nenad Bjelica can be satisfied because Argentine Mierez scored after a long time. 

Hajduk advanced to the Cup quarterfinals with a convincing 5:1 (2:1) away victory against the third division team Belišće.

The triple scorer for Hajduk was Marko Livaja (4', 56', 68'), two goals were added by Marin Ljubičić (35', 58'), while the only goal for the home team was scored by Silvio Anočić (5').

Hajduk's second goalkeeper Danijel Subašić had his first appearance in an official match after almost two years. The former Croatia goalkeeper and 2018 World Cup finalist last stood in goal in an official match for Monaco in December 2019, playing against Lille. His last official appearance for Hajduk before this was in December 2011.

After Osijek and Hajduk, Slaven Belupo also qualified for the Croatian Cup quarterfinals. 

In the only round of 16 match between two first league teams, the Koprivnica club beat Šibenik at Šubićevac after a penalty shootout (1:1, 6:4).

The game was 1:1 in the first 120 minutes of play, thanks to two penalties. Belupo took the lead in the 68th minute (Krstanović), while Ćurić equalized for the hosts in the 92nd minute. Belupo showed more skill on penalties, scored all five shots from the penalty spot, and advanced to the quarterfinals 6:4 (1:1).

BSK - Dinamo, Gorica - Mladost Ždralovi, Rudar Labin - Istra 1961, and Varaždin - Lokomotiva will play on Wednesday, while Oriolik and Rijeka will play on November 13.

The quarterfinal draw will be held on Friday.

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Saturday, 16 October 2021

Croatian Football Cup Round of 16 Preview: The Teams & Schedule

October 16,  2021 - The Croatian Football Cup round of 16 begins later this month with the 16 remaining teams in the competition. 

The Croatian Football Cup is the largest football competition in Croatia, which will soon begin with the round of 16 matches, reports Gol.hr

In this phase of the competition, there is no classic draw, but the pairs are determined in such a way that the lower-ranked clubs, according to the cup coefficient, host the stronger ones according to the principle that the weakest host is the strongest (32-1, 31-2, 30- 3, 29-4, 28-5).

The entire SuperSport Croatian Football Cup is played in one game, with a classic draw for the quarterfinals and semifinals, without any winners.

Round of 32

September 14

Nehaj - Gorica 3:7

September 15

Bednja Beletinec - Osijek 0:3

September 21

Pitomaca - Rijeka 0:7
Dugopolje - Lokomotiva 8:9 (after penalties)
Primorac Biograd na Moru - Hajduk 1:2
Vuteks Sloga - Istra 1961 0:3
Mladost Zdralovi - Inter Zapresic 3:1

September 22

Orient 1919 - Dinamo 1:4
Karlovac 1919 - Slaven Belupo 0:2
Međimurje - Šibenik 0:1
Rudar Labin - Split 2:0
Belisce - Jaska Vinogradar Jastrebarsko 4:0
Bjelovar - Rudeš 1:5
Sesvete - Varaždin 2: 3 (after extra time)
BSK Bijelo Brdo - Cibalia 1:0
Zagreb - Oriolik 0:1

Round of 16

October 26

13:00 Rudeš - Osijek
15:00 Belišće - Hajduk
17:30 Sibenik - Slaven Belupo

October 27

15:00 BSK Bijelo Brdo - Dinamo
15:00 Rudar Labin - Istria 1961
15:00 Gorica - Mladost Ždralovi
17:30 Varaždin - Lokomotiva

November 13

14:00 Oriolik Oriovac - Rijeka

The Croatian Cup quarterfinals will be played on December 1, the semifinals on March 2, 2022, and the final on May 26, 2022. 

SuperSport became the title sponsor of the Croatian Football Cup back in September, reports HNS.

The signing ceremony, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, was attended by the president of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić, executive director of HNS Tomislav Svetina, members of the management board of SuperSport betting Goran Đurić and Radim Haluza, and president of VOX-football and editor-in-chief of HNTV and Ivan Blažičko. In addition to the title sponsorship of the competition, SuperSport will directly financially assist the host clubs in the round of 16 phase of the Cup.

"We thank SuperSport for recognizing the sporting and market value of the Croatian Football Cup. We are pleased that we will have even greater visibility of the competition across the country through television broadcasts and that through this partnership, we will directly help host clubs in organizing the match," said HNS president Marijan Kustić.

"The Croatian Football Cup deserves a title sponsor, and that is why we are looking forward to this cooperation with SuperSport. This is an important step in further commercializing the competition under the auspices of HNS, which confirms the exceptional popularity and potential of Croatian football," said Tomislav Svetina.

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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Croatian Cup Round of 32 Recap: No Upsets, Rijeka with Biggest Victory into Last 16

September 23, 2021 - The Croatian Cup round of 32 came to a close on Wednesday, September 22, and the last 16 Croatian clubs in the competition are known. The round of 16 will be played on October 27. 

The SuperSport Croatian Football Cup round of 32 came to an end on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, reports HNS.

Rijeka was the most convincing in their victory, winning 7:0 against Pitomača thanks to goals by Bušnja (4′), Vučkić (36′, 54′), Vuk (49′), Abass (71′, 90′), and Obregon (88′-11m).

The defending champion Dinamo defeated Orient 1919 away 4:1, with goals by Čop, Leovac, Jurić, and Menalo. 

Perhaps the most exciting match happened in Senj, where Gorica was losing to Nehaj at halftime and turned the match around in the second half for the final 7:3. Lovrić, Pršir, Mitrović, Svast (own goal), and Dieye scored the 7 goals for Gorica's return. 

Lokomotiva was nearly shocked by Dugopolje but ultimately won only after eight series of penalties.

Thanks to an early penalty kick, Hajduk was shocked by Primorac Biograd, who scored for the lead in the 12th minute. Fortunately, Krovinovic equalized in the 42nd minute, and Ljubicic scored the winning goal in the 60th minute. 

Osijek had no issue in Beletinec and was better than Bednja thanks to 3 goals by Čeberk, Bočkaj and Daku. 

The round of 16 will be played on October 27, and a clash between the first division teams, Šibenik and Slaven Belupo, is a highlight of the next round. 

Croatian Cup round of 32 results:

Pitomača - Rijeka 0:7
Orijent 1919 - Dinamo 1:4
Dugopolje - Lokomotiva 8:9 (1:1)
Bednja - Osijek 0:3
Primorac Biograd - Hajduk 1:2
Vuteks Sloga - Istra 1961 0:3
Karlovac 1919 - Slaven Belupo 0:2
Mladost Ždralovi - Inter Zaprešić 3:1
Nehaj - Gorica 3:7
Međimurje - Šibenik 0:1
Rudar Labin - Split 2:0
Belišće - Jaska Vinogradar 4:0
Bjelovar - Rudeš 1:5
Sesvete - Varaždin 2:3
BSK - Cibalia 1:0
Zagreb - Oriolik 0:1

Croatian Cup round of 16 pairs:

Oriolik - Rijeka
BSK - Dinamo
Varaždin - Lokomotiva
Rudeš - Osijek
Belišće - Hajduk
Rudar Labin - Istra 1961
Šibenik - Slaven Belupo
Gorica - Mladost Ždralovi

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