Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Vukovar Gymnasts Best in 1st Round of Croatian Cup

April 6, 2022 – The Vukovar Gymnastics Club performed outstandingly in the 1st round of the Croatian Cup, bringing home team gold and an array of individual medals.

As hrv writes, the 1st round of the Croatian Cup in the Basic Program of Women's Sports Gymnastics was held on April 3 at the Sokol Centre in Osijek in the organisation of the Osijek-Žito Gymnastics Society. The Vukovar Gymnastics Club had representatives in all categories in the team and individual competition. The oldest category was the only one without new competitors. In the other three categories, in addition to already experienced competitors, new members of the competition group performed. In the junior category, one new competitor performed, while in the cadet and junior categories half of the team consisted of girls who all took part in a competition for the first time. All of them did very well and successfully completed the first competition. Special praise goes to those who won individual medals in their first official competition: Lea Služek, Franka Markešić, and Iris Špehar.

The Vukovar Gymnastics Club was the most successful in this competition where the gymnasts in all categories won the team 1st place, as well as the most individual medals. All Vukovar’s gymnasts performed as follows:

Cadets – team 1st place. Individually: 1st Ema Županović, 2nd Franka Markešić, 3rd Una Baždar 5th Jana Cvetković, 8th Marina Đerđ and 9th Franka Ljubić.

Younger juniors – team 1st place. Individually: 1st Služek Lea, 2nd Špehar Iris, 6th Mirosavljević Adrijana, 7th Gavrilović Ljiljana, 11th Velerajter Natali, 18th Horvat Livija.

Juniors – team 1st place. Individually: 1st Badanjak Helena, 2nd Gavrilović Olivera, 4th Jaman Mirjam, 5th Božanović Ana, 10th Mirosavljević Marijana and 11th Roša Lorena.

Younger seniors – team 1st place. Individually: 1st Gužvić Kristina, 2nd Ivanković Tena, 4th Skokić Lana, 5th Andrašević Dijana and 9th Mašić Tea.

The next competition for the Basic Program will be held in June.

After this competition, The Vukovar Gymnastics Club has brought home another 4 team gold medals, and individually 4 gold, 4 silver, and 1 bronze medal.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Rijeka Tops Osijek in Extra Time for Spot in Croatian Cup Final against Hajduk

March 9, 2022 - Rijeka topped Osijek in the final minutes of a thrilling extra time to secure a spot in the Croatian Cup final against Hajduk on May 26! 

Rijeka and Osijek met in the Croatian Cup semifinal at Rujevica on Wednesday. In the other semifinal played last week, Hajduk beat Gorica for a spot in the final at Poljud on May 26.

Rijeka reached the semifinal by eliminating Pitomača (0:7) in the last 32, Oriolik Oriovac (0:6) in the round of 16, and knocking out Dinamo in the quarterfinal at Maksimir. Goran Tomić's team celebrated 3:1 and it was also the last game for coach Damir Krznar on the Dinamo bench.

Osijek did not concede a goal on their way to the semifinal. They defeated Bednja Beletinec 0:3, then Rudeš 0:2 in the last 16, after which they hosted Slaven Belupo in the quarterfinal. Osijek and Belupo played for 120 minutes before a penalty shootout which Osijek won. 

Before this Cup match, Osijek played 0:0 against Lokomotiva on Friday in the Croatian First League, while Rijeka beat Slaven Belupo 3:0 on Saturday, separating these two teams by only one point.

Lineups

Rijeka: Labrović, Velkovski, Čestić, Krešić, Bušnja, Čerin, Pavičić, Selahi, Vukčević, Vučkić, Drmić

Osijek: Ivušić, Cheberko, Škorić, Lončar. Grgić, Žaper, Kleinheisler, Leovac, Fiolić, Caktaš, Mierez

Recap

Rijeka took the 1:0 lead in the 20th minute with a goal by Krešić. Gnezda Čerin sent a freekick into Osijek's penalty area, which Krešić headed into the goal for the lead. 

Osijek equalized in the 42nd minute for 1:1 thanks to Mijo Caktaš, scoring the 11th goal of his career against Rijeka and the first in the Osijek jersey.

Josip Drmić put Rijeka back in the lead in the 77th minute for his 18th goal of the season. In the 2nd minute of stoppage time, Mance equalized for Osijek to send the match into extra time! 

While the first half of extra time went without a goal, with the nerves of penalties on the horizon, Merkulov scored in the 188th minute for the Rijeka lead and ultimate win for a spot in the Croatian Cup final against Hajduk on May 26! 

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

 

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Croatian Cup Semifinal: Hajduk Tops Gorica for Spot in Final (2:1)

March 2, 2022 - The first Croatian Cup semifinal match was played tonight at Poljud Stadium in Split between Hajduk and Gorica, with Hajduk winning 2:1 for a spot in the final on May 26 at Poljud!

Hajduk was a big favorite in the semifinal match against Gorica, which has just suffered five Championship defeats. Hajduk suffered a heavy 3:1 loss to Rijeka in the Croatian First League derby on Saturday.

Since the final is too being played at Poljud, Hajduk fans expected a victory against Gorica and a spot in the final. 

Gorica has thus far led head-to-head, with eight wins with five defeats, but has lost two of three games against Hajduk this season.

Lineups

Hajduk: L. Kalinić, Mikanović, Katić, Elez, Melnjak, Grgić, Fossati, Sahiti, Biuk, Livaja, Mlakar

Gorica: Kotarski, Jovičić, Steenvoorden, Mitrović, Babec, Kalik, Krizmanić, Pršir, Keita, Atiemwen, Dieye

Recap 

Hajduk came out much more aggressively in the first 5 minutes of the match, pressuring the Gorica defense and goalkeeper.  A Livaja cross in the 5th minute was a top chance for Hajduk, with Stipe Biuk heading over the crossbar. 

Gorica attacked well in the 8th minute before Hajduk countered and Sahiti just missed the goal. 

Gorica had a chance in the 11th minute which was headed over the goal. Hajduk continued to press and a brilliant ball in from the right found Grgić's head which went just over the post.  

Sahiti tried shooting from the left-wing but it was an easy save for the Gorica keeper. Livaja danced around the Gorica defense in the 16th minute but hit wide of the goal. Gorica had an unsuccessful counterattack two minutes later. 

Hajduk had two of their best opportunities in the 20th minute but both were saved by Kotarski. 

Gorica held possession for the next few minutes and managed a shot off which went wide of the Hajduk goal.  

A quick 1-2 in front of Kotarski's goal found the boot of Grgić who had another stellar opportunity for Hajduk but his shot was also wide.  

Gorica seemed to only pressure thanks to quick counterattacks but nothing was dangerous. Their first corner came in the 29th minute. 

In the 32nd, Mikanović sent the ball in to Liivaja who found the back of the net, but VAR ruled the goal offside. 

However, it didn't take long for Hajduk to get their goal. Melnjak scored for 1:0 in the 39th minute! 

A Hajduk free kick right outside the box was awarded 2 minutes to go in the half - and Marko Livaja hit the post! 

Hajduk had 57% of the possession in the first half and 8 shots on goal to Gorica's two.

The second half started without any changes on either side.

Hajduk's attacking game continued in the first 8 minutes of the second half. Gorica had their first shot at the keeper in the 53rd minute. Gorica's first corner of the second half came two minutes later. 

Gorica had their best chance of the match in the 57th minute when Pršir shot just wide of Hajduk's goal. A potential penalty for Hajduk was checked by VAR in the 60th minute but was ruled out. 

Just a few minutes later, Livaja's free kick outside the box found the head of Melnjak for 2:0 in the 64th minute!

Stipe Biuk was subbed off for Nikola Kalinić in the 66th minute. 

Gorica subbed Dieye for Cruz and Brbec for Suk in the 70th minute. Hajduk made changes two minutes later - Sahiti was subbed off for Atanasov and Mlakar for Ljubicic. 

In the 79th minute, Gorica subbed Mitrovic for Musa and Suk for Golubickas. 

A mistake in Hajduk's defense gave Gorica a corner in the 83rd minute though they were unable to get past Hajduk's defense.   

Vukovic and Colina came on for Grgic and Melnjak in the 86th minute. The ref added 5 minutes of stoppage time. 

VAR awarded a penalty for Gorirca in the final minutes which Kalik scored for the final 2:1.

Gorica was unable to get past Hajduk's defense for another goal, giving Hajduk the 2:1 victory and spot in the Croatian Cup final! Rijeka and Osijek will play in the second semifinal on March 9. The final is on May 26 in Poljud.

Only one game is played in the Croatian Cup semifinal, and if there is no winner after 90 minutes, extra time is played and then penalties.

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

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. 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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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