Monday, 20 September 2021

HNL Round 9 Recap: Hajduk-Dinamo Postponed, Osijek Tops Gorica in Dramatic Finish

September 20, 2021 - The 9th round of the Croatian First League was held from September 17 to 19, 2021. The 'Eternal Derby' between Hajduk and Dinamo at Poljud was postponed due to Dinamo's Europa League schedule, while Osijek's late-winner against Gorica saw the match end 3:2 at City Garden. Here is our HNL Round 9 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Rijeka (2:2)

Dragovoljac and Rijeka opened the 9th round in Zagreb on Friday, September 17, 2021, in front of 420 spectators. 

Petković and Majstorović shocked Rijeka with a 2:0 lead by the 36th minute. Ampem got a goal back for Rijeka in the 57th minute for 2:1, and Pavičić equalized 3 minutes later for 2:2. Vuckic's goal was called offside in the final minute of regulation time, so the match ended in a draw. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in last place with 5 points, while Rijeka is in 1st with 17 points (and one game less).

Slaven Belupo v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Belupo and Istra met in Koprivnica on Saturday, September 18, 2021. 

The first half went without goals but saw Navarro receive a red card, forcing Istra to play with a man down from the 41st minute. Krstanovic scored a penalty at the start of the second half for the Belupo lead, but Perkovic equalized in the 5th minute of injury time for 1:1. 

 

Belupo is currently in 9th place with 6 points, while Istra is in 8th with 7 (and one game less). 

Šibenik v. Lokomotiva (2:1)

Šibenik and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, September 18, 2021, in Šibenik. 

Marin scored in the 5th minute for the early Šibenik lead, though Dabro scored a penalty in the 28th minute for 1:1 at the half. Marin scored his second goal of the match in the 77th minute for the 2:1 Šibenik win. 

 

Šibenik is currently in 7th place with 10 points, while Lokomotiva is in 6th with 11 (and one game less).

Osijek v. Gorica (3:2)

Osijek and Gorica closed out the 9th round at City Garden Stadium on Sunday, September 19, 2021. 

Kalik gave Gorica the lead in the 29th minute. Daku didn't equalize for Osijek until the 75th. Brodic put Gorica back in the lead 6 minutes later, and Daku equalized again for 2:2 in the 84th minute. Loncar gave Osijek the late-game winner in the 3rd minute of injury time for a final score of 3:2. 

 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 17 points, while Gorica is in 5th with 13. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.  

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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Europa League: West Ham Beats Dinamo in Group Stage Opener at Maksimir

September 16, 2021 -  In the first round of the Europa League group stage, West Ham beats Dinamo 2:0 at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. 

Dinamo and West Ham met in the first round of the Europa League group stage on Thursday at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. Although the Croatian champion has much more experience in European competitions, West Ham's status as a solid Premier League club made them the favorite going into this match. 

Croatia national team player (and former Hajduk star) Nikola Vlašić was in West Ham's starting 11, while Bruno Petković and Mislav Oršić led Dinamo's attack. There were 12,344 spectators at the stadium, of which 859 were West Ham supporters. 

Lineups: 

Dinamo: Livaković - Šutalo, Lauritsen, Theophile-Catherine - Ristovski, Ademi, Mišić, Franjić - Ivanušec - Petković, Oršić

West Ham: Fabianski - Fredericks, Zouma, Diop, Cresswell - Rice, Souček - Vlašić, Lanzini, Fornals - Antonio

The first half was one to forget for the Croatian club and perhaps one of the worst halves they've played in Europe in the last few years. An unrecognizable Dinamo succumbed to West Ham's pressure and gave up two corners in the first 3 minutes of play. 

Dinamo's first attack didn't come until the 11th minute, and Petković and Ademi could not get past Fabianski. An Oršić shot from 30 meters out in the 20th minute almost gave Dinamo the lead, though a catastrophic mistake by Theophile-Catherine put West Ham in the lead instead. Theophile-Catherine weakly passed back to Livaković without realizing Antonio was there to score for 0:1. Livaković had to save Dinamo from another close encounter 3 minutes later. 

Dinamo struggled to find their game, and Vlašić nearly had a few chances for West Ham in the remainder of the half, but the match luckily ended 0:1 for West Ham at halftime. 

Dinamo picked up their pace at the start of the second half with an attacking play immediately in the first minute. But West Ham was quicker to increase their lead, and Declan Rice scored for 0:2 in the 51st minute.

Dinamo had a good chance 3 minutes later when Ivanušec's shot went out for a corner, and another chance again in the 60th, which just missed the goal. 

West Ham subbed out Vlašić for Bowen in the 69th minute.

Dinamo was lucky not to concede another goal in the 79th minute. Tolić pulled a counter-attack with Jurić in the 87th minute, though it was no tough task for Fabianski. 

Three minutes of injury time were added to the end of the match, which was not enough for Dinamo to get back a goal. The match ended 0:2 for West Ham. 

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Dinamo Prepares for West Ham at Maksimir: "We Can Repeat Tottenham"

September 14, 2021 - Dinamo Zagreb is preparing to welcome West Ham at Maksimir Stadium on Thursday to open the Europa League group stage. 

West Ham United is playing in Europe for the first time in five years. The English club played in the competition last when they were led by Slaven Bilić and were shockingly knocked out in the play-offs by Romanian club Astra Giurgiu, reports 24 Sata.

West Ham is in the group stage of the competition for the first time thanks to finishing sixth place in the Premier League last season.

And their first stop? Croatia.

Dinamo, their first group stage opponent, plays in the Europa League group stage for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons.

Nikola Vlašić (23) will once again play against Dinamo in the Europa League group stage. Recall, Vlašić met Dinamo when playing with CSKA Moscow last season and lost at Maksimir. He made his West Ham debut in the draw against Southampton last weekend (0-0).

Spaniard Pablo Fornals (25) knows it won’t be easy, even though the Hammers are favorites for bookmakers (odds 2.25 at West Ham and 3.10 at Dinamo).

"We are playing away. It will be a new experience for all of us, and I hope that we will make all West Ham fans proud," Fornals said for the official West Ham website.

Coach David Moyes has hinted that striker Michail Antonio, who is excluded from the league game and has no right to play against Manchester United at the weekend, will play in Zagreb.

"Will I try other options? He can’t play against United, and you can look at it in several ways. I don't want Mic to be without a game for a few weeks, he played a little for the national team, but I will think about it," said Moyes.

Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi (30), the club's record holder with 87 appearances in UEFA competitions, does not believe that it will be a one-way street.

"With a full stadium, with our fans, with their great support, we can repeat Tottenham. Clearly, I am an optimist; what an athlete I would be if I were not an optimist. We believed then that we could get past the Spurs, and that faith brought us that result," said the captain and continued:

"I appeal to our fans to give us the support they know against West Ham. It means a lot to us on the field; fan support is a big motivator. The louder our fans are, the higher our percentage for success. So I hope they will fill Maksimir."

The match starts at 18.45 on Thursday and will be refereed by Frenchman Ruddy Buquet (44), who refereed Dinamo in their victory against Ferencvaros in Budapest in 2019 (4-0) and was the fourth referee against Neftči in Zagreb in 2011 (3-0). He also refereed the Croatia national team in a draw against Azerbaijan in 2015 (0-0) and victory in Finland in 2016 (1-0).

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Monday, 13 September 2021

HNL Round 8 Recap: Livaja Hattrick for Hajduk, Wins for Dinamo and Rijeka

September 13, 2021 - The 8th round of the Croatian First League was played from September 10 to 12, 2021. This saw a Marko Livaja hattrick for the Hajduk win, while Dinamo and Rijeka celebrated victories at home. Here is our HNL round 8 recap. 

Gorica v. Hr. Dragovoljac (1:1)

Gorica and Dragovoljac opened the 8th round on Friday,  September 10, 2021, in Velika Gorica. 

While the first half went without goals, Gorica's Stojanovski scored the first goal of the match which was ruled offside by VAR in the 56th minute. Lovrić missed a penalty for Gorica 7 minutes later, but Babec scored a minute after that for the 1:0 Gorica lead. Strkalj equalized in the 74th minute for the final 1:1. 

 

Gorica is currently in 5th place with 15 points, while Dragovoljac is in the last place with 4. 

Dinamo v. Šibenik (2:0)

Dinamo and Šibenik met at Maksimir Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2021. 

It was another match with a scoreless first half. Lauritsen scored for the Dinamo lead in the 68th minute, which Ivanušec increased to 2:0 10 minutes later. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 16 points (and one game less), while Šibenik is in 7th with 7. 

Rijeka v. Slaven Belupo (2:1)

Rijeka and Slaven Belupo met at Rujevica Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2021. 

After a 0:0 first half, Hadzic put Belupo in the lead in the 63rd minute. However, that didn't last long, as Drmić equalized for 1:1 in the 78th minute before scoring his second goal in the 85th minute for 2:1. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 3rd place with 16 points (and one game less), while Belupo is in 9th place with 5 points. 

Istra 1961 v. Hajduk (1:3)

Istra and Hajduk met in Pula on Sunday, September 12, 2021. 

The lack of goals in the first half was redeemed by Marko Livaja, who put Hajduk up 0:1 thanks to a penalty in the 51st minute. A second penalty was awarded to Hajduk 6 minutes later, which Livaja scored for 0:2. Livaja's hattrick came in the 74th minute for the 0:3 lead. Drena got one goal for Istra in the 87th minute for a final score of 1:3. 

 

Istra is currently in 8th place with 6 points (and one game less), while Hajduk is in 2nd with 16. 

Lokomotiva v. Osijek (1:1)

Lokomotiva and Osijek closed out the 8th round on Sunday, September 12, 2021. 

The match's first goal was scored in the 70th minute, thanks to Dabro for the Lokomotiva lead. A double-yellow for Fiolić forced Osijek to play with a man down from the 75th minute. Topcagic was able to equalize in the 3rd minute of added time for the final 1:1 draw. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 11 points (and one game less), while Osijek is in 4th with 14. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Monday, 30 August 2021

HNL Round 7 Recap: Croatian Derby Weekend - Dinamo Tops Osijek, Rijeka Beats Hajduk

August 20, 2021 - The 7th round of the Croatian First League was held from August 27 to 29, 2021. This round featured Croatia's biggest derbies - Osijek v Dinamo, and Hajduk v Rijeka. Here's our HNL round 7 recap 

Slaven Belupo v. Hr Dragovoljac (0:1)

Belupo and Dragovoljac opened the 7th round on Friday, August 27, 2021, in Koprivnica.

While the first half went without goals, Belupo's s Glavcic received his second yellow in the 76th minute and Mioc scored in the 86th minute for 0:1 and Dragovoljac's first win this season!

 

Belupo is currently in 9th place with 5 points, while Dragovoljac is in last with 3.  

Lokomotiva v. Gorica (0:1)

Lokomotiva and Gorica met on Saturday, August 28, 2021, in Zagreb. 

After another scoreless first half, Lovric scored 0:1 in the 74th minute, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 10 points, while Gorica is in 5th place with 12 points. 

Sibenik v. Istra 1961 (3:1)

Sibenik and Istra met on Saturday, August 28, 2021, in Sibenik. 

Sibenik scored all three of its goals in the first half - Delic in the 17th, and Jakolis in the 22nd and 32nd. Drena Beljo scored one for Istra in the 74th for the final score of 3:1. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 7th place with 7 points, while Istra is in 8th with 6. 

Osijek v. Dinamo (0:2)

Osijek and Dinamo met in the first big derby of the weekend on Sunday, August 29, 2021, at City Garden Stadium. 3,175 spectators were in attendance.

Jakic scored for the Dinamo lead before the half for 0:1 in the 33rd minute. Pilj missed a penalty for Osijek in the 58th minute and an own goal by Loncar increased Dinamo's lead to 0:2 in the 65th minute. 

 

Osijek is currently in 4th place with 13 points, while Dinamo is in 1st with 13 and one game less. 

Hajduk v. Rijeka (1:2)

Hajduk and Rijeka closed out of the 7th round with the Adriatic Derby at Poljud on Sunday, August 29, 2021. 15,967 spectators were in attendance.

Tomecak scored for 0:1 Rijeka in the 21st minute, which Drmic increased to 0:2 before the half (43'). Hajduk's Elez came back with a goal for 1:2, and after numerous attempts, was unable to equalize. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 3rd place with 13 points, while Rijeka is in 2nd with 13 and one game less. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Europa League Draw: Dinamo in Group H against West Ham

August 27, 2021 - The Europa League draw was held today in Istanbul, with Dinamo in Group H against Genk, West Ham, and Rapid Wien. 

After being relegated from the Champions League playoffs by Moldovan club Sheriff (0-3, 0-0), Dinamo was placed in the first strong group of the Europa League draw and today learned the rivals that stand in their way to a new European spring.

The draw in Istanbul on Friday decided that Dinamo will play in Group H of the Europa League. The Zagreb club has thus drawn Group H with Genk, West Ham, and Rapid Wien. The first match of the group stage is scheduled for September 16.

Dinamo could have had a much worse draw, and a clash against Crvena Zvezda has been avoided. Rapid will threaten Damir Krznar's team from the fourth strong group of the team, West Ham from the third, while Genk, which knocked out Osijek and Lokomotiva from European competitions in previous years, come from the second.

EUROPE LEAGUE GROUP DRAW:

Group A
Lyon
Rangers
Sparta Prague
Brondby

Group B
Monaco
PSV Eindhoven
Real Sociedad
Sturm Graz

Group C
Napoli
Leicester City
Spartak Moscow
Legia Warsaw

Group D
Olympiakos
Eintracht Frankfurt
Fenerbahce
Royal Antwerp

Group E
Lazio
Lokomotiv Moscow
Marseille
Galatasaray

Group F
Braga
Red Star Belgrade
Ludogorets
Midtjylland

Group G
Bayer Leverkusen
Celtic
Real Betis
Ferencvaros

Group H
Dinamo Zagreb
Genk
West Ham
Rapid Vienna

Match dates: September 16 and 30, October 21, November 4 and 25, December 9

The knockout round playoffs are held on February 17 and 24 before the last 16 draw on February 25. The round of 16 is played on March 10 and 17, the quarter-finals on April 7 and 14, and the semis on April 28 and May 5. The Europa League final is on May 18 in Seville. 

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Champions League Playoffs: Dinamo Loses to Sheriff, Moves to Europa League

August 25, 2021 - Dinamo loses to Sheriff in the Champions League playoffs and will compete in the Europe League competition instead. 

Dinamo failed to qualify for the Champions League group stage after playing 0:0 against Sheriff in the return match of the playoffs in Zagreb. Sheriff won the first leg 3:0 in Tiraspol.

Dinamo failed to make up for the three-goal deficit, and the Moldovan club thus qualified for the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Dinamo did not find a way to break through the Sheriff's defense led by goalkeeper Athanasiadis, whom Dinamo failed to get by in both matches.

Sheriff unexpectedly started attacking from the first minute, and in the 4th minute, Thill hit the post.

Dinamo had their first chance only after ten minutes. However, Ivanušec missed a good opportunity, and Petković's attempts were defended by the Moldovan goalkeeper Athanasiadis, and the teams went into halftime without goals. 

Sheriff's goalkeeper defended Oršić's shot in the 52nd minute, after which the match calmed down completely. Dinamo's attacks could not penetrate Sheriff's defense.

"We did our best, but we failed. I’m sorry to the wonderful fans, but hopefully, there will be a win in the Europa League. We knew we had to put more pressure than in the first game, but Sheriff deserved the Champions League," Duje Cop said after the game.

Mislav Oršić thanked the fans for their support.

"I don't know what to say; it's hard to analyze the game. They were better; that’s the only thing that matters. After that, we have to turn to the Europa League, and the HNL," said Oršić.

"We reached the last third, but in the end, there was always something missing," added Dinamo's winger.

"Maybe someone will say that this is a failure, but we are in the Europa League in which we did great things last year," concluded Oršić.

Daniele Orsato from Italy refereed in front of 8,100 spectators at the Maksimir Stadium.

Source: HRT

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Monday, 23 August 2021

HNL Round 6 Recap: Hajduk in 1st After Istra 1961 Shocks Osijek 2:0

August 23, 2021 - The 6th round of the Croatian First League was held from August 20 to 22, 2021. This round saw Hajduk move to 1st place in the standings after Istra 1961 shocked Osijek with a 2:0 win. Here's our HNL round 6 recap. 

Hrvatski Dragovoljac v. Hajduk (0:1)

Hr. Dragovoljac and Hajduk opened the 6th round in Zagreb on Friday, August 20, 2021, in front of 990 (mostly Torcida) spectators. 

While Hajduk sat in Dragovoljac's half for the entire game (bar a few plays), the only goal of the match came in the 5th minute of added time (90+5'), when Simic scored off a corner kick for the Hajduk win. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 0 points, while Hajduk is in 1st with 13. 

Gorica v. Slaven Belupo (1:0)

Gorica and Belupo met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, August 21, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, Dvornekovic scored for 1:0 Gorica in the 66th minute, which was the final result. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 9 points, while Belupo is in 8th with 5. 

Dinamo v. Lokomotiva (1:0)

Dinamo and Lokomotiva met at Maksimir on Saturday, August 21, 2021. 

It was yet another match where the first half went without goals, and Oršić only scored for Dinamo in the 77th minute for the 1:0 win. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 10th place with 10 points (and one game less), while Lokomotiva is in 3rd with 10 (and one game less).

Istra 1961 v. Osijek (2:0)

Istra and Osijek met in Pula at the Aldo Drosina Stadium on Sunday, August 22, 2021. 

No goals were scored in the first half, and Istra's first goal didn't come until the 84th minute when Bande scored for 1:0. Miskovic increased Istra's lead in the 4th minute of added time (90+4') for the final score of 2:0. 

 

Istra is currently in 7th place with 6 points (and one game less), while Osijek is in 2nd with 13 points. 

Rijeka v. Sibenik (2:1)

Rijeka and Sibenik closed out the 6th round on Sunday, August 22, 2021, at Rujevica Stadium. 

After a scoreless first half, Delic put Sibenik in the lead for 0:1 in the 47th minute. Drmic equalized in the 64th for 1:1, and Busnja put Rijeka in the lead at 2:1 in the 76th minute for the win. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 5th place with 10 points (and one game less), while Sibenik is in 9th with 4. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Champions League Play-offs: Unrecognizable Dinamo Falls to Sheriff in 1st Match

August 18, 2021 - The Champions League play-offs got off to a rough start for Dinamo Zagreb, who looked unrecognizable against Moldovan club Sheriff in match 1 in Tiraspol.

Croatian champions Dinamo suffered a brutal defeat in the first Champions League play-off match against Moldovan club Sheriff in Tiraspol. Sheriff won 3:0 thanks to goals by Traore (45', 80') and Kolovos (54').

Sheriff completely outplayed Dinamo and deservedly gained a big advantage before the return match in Zagreb next week. 

"A disappointing game; Dinamo was not Dinamo today," said coach Damir Krznar. 

"We failed to impose ourselves in our idea of possessing the ball. We failed to gain control of the match, against an extremely aggressive opponent. They didn’t give us air; they didn’t let us breathe; they won all the long balls. Sheriff was the one who had more desire, more strength, more energy today, and they taught us a lesson in fighting spirit and will, and in the end, deservedly won," Krznar pointed out.

"We have to start; we have to change the philosophy in a short time; we have to go back to where we were. Everything Dinamo did, they did because they are an extremely hard-working team. Today we weren’t; today we were trying to be a hacker team from the neighborhood," the coach concluded.

Mislav Oršić and Lovro Majer were among those who gave the least.

"This is the worst Dinamo match since I've been here; I don't know what to say, I have no words. Nothing went, from the beginning everything was bad, we even had some shots in the first half, and in the second half, everything fell apart," Oršić said in a statement for Arena Sport.

"All praise to Sheriff, but I think we failed first. We have to look each other in the eyes and prepare as best we can for the return match, prepare for another miracle at Maksimir; I hope we will succeed," concluded Oršić.

Moldova has never had a representative in the Champions League group stage, and after the first 90 minutes of the clash against Dinamo, Sheriff has come very close to achieving just that. Dinamo will have to play a perfect match on August 25 to compensate for this loss. 

Source: HRT

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Monday, 16 August 2021

HNL Round 5 Recap: Osijek Beats Rijeka, Hajduk Moves to 3rd, Šibenik Wins 6:2

August 16, 2021 - The 5th round of the Croatian First League was held from August 13 to 15, 2021. This round saw Osijek win the derby against Rijeka, while Hajduk continued their at-home winning streak. There were even blowout wins for both Šibenik and Lokomotiva! Here's our HNL round 5 recap. 

Dinamo v. Gorica (1:0)

Dinamo and Gorica opened the 5th round at Maksimir Stadium on Friday, August 13, 2021. 

The match's only goal was an own goal by Gorica's Doka, which put Dinamo up at 1:0 in the 36th minute. Gorica was unable to equalize. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 4th place with 7 points (and only 4 games played), while Gorica is in 6th place with 6 points. 

Lokomotiva v. Istra 1961 (4:0)

Lokomotiva and Istra met in Zagreb on Saturday, August 14, 2021. 

Dabro scored Lokomotiva's first goal for 1:0 in the 20th minute. Then, Ibrahim scored goals in the 31st and 45th minutes to make it 3:0 at the half. Finally, Dabro increased Lokomotiva's lead to 4:0 in the 49th minute, which was how the match ended. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 2nd place with 10 points, while Istra is in 9th with 3. 

Hajduk v. Slaven Belupo (2:0)

Hajduk and Slaven Belupo met at Poljud Stadium on Saturday, August 16, 2021. 

Emir Sahiti scored the goal of the round in the 35th minute for the 1:0 Hajduk lead at the half. Livaja increased Hajduk's lead from a free kick in the 48th minute for 2:0, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 3rd place with 10 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 5. 

Šibenik v. Hr. Dragovoljac (6:2)

Šibenik and Dragovoljac met in Šibenik on Sunday, August 16, 2021. 

Delić scored in the 1st minute for the early 1:0 lead though Petković equalized for 1:1 in the 34th. Strkalj put Dragovoljac ahead at 1:2 just before the half. 

Šibenik came back strong in the second half, however, scoring 3 goals in 10 minutes for the 4:2 lead (Bačelić-Grgić 52', Marin 58', Jakoliš 61'). Bačelić-Grgić scored again in the 86th minute for 5:2, and Marin finished the match with another goal just before the final whistle for 6:2. 

 

Šibenik is currently in 8th place with 4 points, while Dragovoljac is in the last place with 0. 

Osijek v. Rijeka (1:0)

Osijek and Rijeka closed out the 5th round at City Garden Stadium on Sunday, August 16, 2021. 

VAR called back Rijeka's goal in the 8th minute, and Mierez scored for the Osijek lead in the 17th minute. Osijek scored again in the final minutes of the match, but the goal was also called offside by VAR.

 

Osijek is currently in 1st place with 13 points, while Rijeka is in 5th with 7 points.  

You can see the full HNL table HERE

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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