Thursday, 26 May 2022

Croatian Cup Final: Hajduk Beats Rijeka for First Trophy in 9 Years!

May 26, 2022 - Hajduk beat Rijeka 3:1 in the Croatian Cup final on Thursday at Poljud for their first trophy in 9 years!

Hajduk and Rijeka met in the Croatian Cup final tonight at a sold-out Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Interestingly, in all four Croatian Championship matches this season, Rijeka was more successful at Poljud (1:2 and 1:3), and Hajduk fought back at Rujevica, winning 2:3 last fall and 0:3 a few weeks ago. 

Rijeka last won the Cup two years ago, while Hajduk had been waiting for any trophy for nine years, last winning the Cup in 2013. 

Rijeka and Hajduk have won the Cup six times in independent Croatia.

Lineups

HAJDUK: L. Kalinić, Mikanović, Ferro, Elez, Melnjak, Fossati, Grgić, Sahiti, Krovinović, Mlakar, Livaja; Hajduk was without Nikola Kalinić due to a virus. 

RIJEKA: Labrović - Krešić, Velkovski, Smolčić - Ampem, Selahi, Čerin, Vukčević - Pavičić - Obregon, Drmić

Recap

Hajduk showed they were hungry already in the first two minutes of the match, maintaining possession with Melnjak taking the first shot on goal. Livaja shot over the crossbar a minute later. 

Rijeka found their rhythm in the next few minutes and pushed up into Hajduk's half. Hajduk had a good chance from a free kick in the 8th minute which Melnjak headed over the post. 

While Hajduk had the chances it was Rijeka to capitalize on theirs first. A breakaway for Drmić and a goal for 1:0 Rijeka. 

Hajduk had their first corner in the 16th minute and continued to push into Rijeka's half. Krovinović just missed the goal in the 20th minute. 

Hajduk had another corner a minute later. And another in the 23rd minute. Ferro equalized for Hajduk for 1:1 in the 24th minute! 

The match was back and forth for the next 5 minutes. Rijeka had a dangerous free kick in the 31st minute which deflected off of Hajduk’s defense and into Kalinić’s hands. 

Melnjak was found in the penalty area in the 33rd minute, though his shot deflected for another Hajduk corner. And then Melnjak finally got his chance - he scored for 1:2 Hajduk in the 36th minute! 

Smolcic was shown his second yellow in the 41st minute, forcing Rijeka to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. It was 1:2 for Hajduk at halftime. 

Hajduk had their first corner of the second half already in the 47th minute. And another in the 51st. The match was back and forth for the next 5 minutes until a tragic Rijeka mistake in the defense helped Melnjak to his second goal of the match for 1:3 Hajduk!

Another corner for Hajduk in the 60th minute - they were beginning to outclass Rijeka now. 

Mlakar was subbed off for Colina and Vukovic for Grgic as Hajduk's first subs 61st minute. 

Rijeka subbed off Lepinjica for Selahi and Muric for Pavicic a minute later. 

Livaja had a super chance in the 67th minute which went out for a corner. He was hungry to score. Another breakaway for Livaja moments later went over the post. 

Hajduk dominated for the next 10 minutes, leaving Rijeka without much of a chance to attack.  

Rijeka's first real chance of the second half came in the 80th minute but they shot over the goal. 

Sahiti was subbed off for Biuk moments later. 

Biuk forced a corner on his first touch in the 82nd minute. Livaja weakly shot to keep it 1:3 for Hajduk. 

Rijeka had a. corner in the 84th minute and Stanic was subbed off for Cerin. 

The match came to a halt in the 90th minute as Rijeka's fans launched flares into the VIP section. And the match came to an end - Hajduk is the Croatian Cup champion! 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Hajduk, Dinamo, HNS Official Statements after Torcida Motorway Clash with Police

May 24, 2022 - TCN brings the official statements of the Croatian police, Torcida, GNK Dinamo, HNK Hajduk, and HNS after the Torcida motorway clash with police on Saturday evening.

On Saturday afternoon, Dinamo Zagreb beat Hajduk 3:1 in the final match of the season. Dinamo celebrated the Croatian championship title in front of their fans at Maksimimr Stadium, as Hajduk fan group Torcida remained outside protesting a new Dinamo banner rule. Later that evening, Torcida and police clashed at the Desinec rest area along the Zagreb-Split motorway. As a result, four men sustained shotgun wounds, and 35 people were injured. Forty-two people remain in investigative custody. 

TCN brings you the official statements from each organization. 

The Croatian Police were the first to comment on the incident on Sunday (Source: HRT)

The Deputy Director-General of the General Police Security Damir Barić, the Head of the Public Order and Security Sector of the Zagreb Police Administration Davor Posilović, and the Deputy County State's Attorney in Velika Gorica Dražen Diklić spoke. They were accompanied by the Commander of the Special and Intervention Police Unit, Mario Bencek, the Head of the Organized Crime Processing Department, Midhad Arifović, and the Head of the Reporting Analytics and Public Relations Department, Marija Goatti.

"I would like to emphasize a few important facts directly related to the events at the Desinec station. Public order and peace were disturbed to a greater extent, and the police acted accordingly. As everyone knows, the Dinamo-Hajduk match was played last night. It is a high-risk event for us, and we take it seriously. We have experienced employees with extensive experience in securing such matches. The security was managed by the Chief of the Police Administration himself, so this is the highest possible level. We consider the implementation plan to be very good, and a sufficient number of police officers have been engaged. The proof is that the whole season with a series of high-risk matches was done without incidents," said Damir Barić on Sunday.

"We notice from the media that the fact that fans couldn't bring banners into the stadium is stated as a potential cause of the events in Desinac. Four days ago, the match organizer informed the fans about the entry procedure with banners. Before the game, it was necessary to bring a banner for inspection, but Hajduk fans turned a deaf ear to it and wanted to enter the stadium directly. The police are there only in the role of securing and enforcing the organizers' decisions, so it has nothing to do with the police. After the banners were not allowed in, all Hajduk fans stayed out of the stadium and, at one point, expressed a desire to go to Split. We organized a caravan. The entire route to Split was secured," he added.

"There was no indication that something like this would happen, but at one point, the fans blocked all three traffic lanes and launched an attack on police officers. Colleagues were outnumbered; there were 16 police officers and several hundred perpetrators. The attack was aggressive, using various objects, such as batons, bottles, stones, chains, fire extinguishers, and everything they found in the gas station area. When they did not calm down on the orders, the police fired several shots to call for help and as a warning to stop the attack. The fans then stopped at one point, and other forces managed to come and work on establishing public order. Several fans were involved in the attacks, but several police officers also acted differently. We are working intensively on establishing all the facts, there are many activities, and it takes time to process all the events and information. I want to emphasize various articles in the media, such as those that "Mamić's police acted last night." We find this extremely offensive, especially when we have about 20 injured employees. Last night, the police did their job to protect public order and peace and protect the lives of all. The attack was also carried out with flares, and you know what an open flame at a gas station means; imagine that there was a fire and an explosion at a gas station. The most important thing was the danger for everyone in the area," concluded the Deputy Chief of Police for General Security Barić.

Chief of the Zagreb Police Administration Marko Rašić added:

"There was nothing to indicate that something like this would happen. Until this incident, everything was in the best order; we detained about 20 people. Four police officers used firearms, three fired only into the air, and one fired 11 shots into the concrete surface. Two fans were injured after the bullets bounced off the concrete. After that, the police wanted to help the attacked colleagues, but the fans also stopped them, so they were forced to shoot. One police officer fired two bullets into the air to help colleagues surrounded at the gas station, where fans had already managed to insert a flammable torch into their vehicle. The situation was such that it was good that the police officers were not set on fire in the official vehicle. After that, help arrived, and public order and peace were established; the fans were restrained. Some fans crossed the lane that goes from the south, where the Zadar Police Department officers pushed them not to endanger their own lives and the lives of others.

Firearms injured two fans, one had severe injuries in the shin, and the other was only bruised and had minor injuries. We have information that another fan with a broken foot called us in Split today; as far as we know, he was treated and not kept for treatment, so I guess it is a minor injury. We also received information that another fan contacted the doctors; it could also be a gunshot wound, so all four of them probably have gunshot wounds. A total of 35 people were injured. The investigation ended after 11 am; more than 100 cases were processed, and further expertise will follow. So far, 43 fans have been detained, and a criminal investigation is underway; there is a suspicion that they committed the act of causing riots," said Rašić.

Torcrida came out with an official response a few hours later (Source: Torcida Split Facebook)

Hajduk's 'Torcida Split' fan club demands that Croatian state institutions carefully investigate and sanction several illegal, inhumane, and tactless actions by the Dinamo Football Club leadership and members of the Croatian police, which led to an incident in which - for the first time in history - several citizens were injured by gunshots. We warn that this case is an escalation of many years of violence and torture to which fans have been exposed for many years, very often thanks to the conspiracy of corrupt members or associates of the convicted criminal organization in football and close personnel from police structures, as well as persons from this system who at least unknowingly assist them.

Hajduk 'Torcida Split' fan club reminds us on this occasion that:

- Croatian police are obliged to secure football matches and not to 'assist their organizers' in enforcing illegal, arbitrary, and absurd restrictions when fans enter the stadium,
- Croatian police are obliged to monitor the implementation of the law, which, among other things, prescribes the obligation to match organizers to ensure the expected arrival of fans at the stadium on time,
- the Croatian police are obliged to ensure freedom of movement and freedom of expression of the opinions of Croatian citizens, as well as their dignity, and not to suppress them by their actions. Food and water and the basic physiological needs are the minimum unless the Croatian police believe that fans, for some reason, do not have the right to do so,
- the Croatian police are obliged to protect the citizens of Croatia, not to shoot at them, beat everything that shows signs of life, indiscriminately harass with tear gas, and destroy their vehicles with batons. They are obliged and paid to behave according to the law, not like a gang.

Instead, the joint action of the Zagreb Police Administration and Dinamo Administration prevented us from coming to the match yesterday. It is absurd to comment on the demands of the Dinamo management regarding the introduction of banners in the south stand of Maksimir Stadium. Still, for the sake of the public, we will present only some of their pearls. For example, the Dinamo management required that all banners measuring more than 100x200 cm not only had to be registered 48 hours before the match but also had to be brought to the stadium before it officially opened and placed on the podium (where I guess the Maksimir guards should keep them until we enter the stadium, somewhere at the end of the first half).

Furthermore, although the Zagreb Police Department is washing its hands of responsibility in this case, the time of arrival at Maksimir Stadium depends exclusively on the assessment and actions of the police who provide the route by which visiting fans are transported to the stadium and decides when that column of fans will leave under police escort from the toll booths in Lučko. It does not depend on Torcida when they come to the visiting tribune of Maksimir Stadium but on the police. By its actions, the Zagreb Police Department only gave the Dinamo management a reason to justify why it forbids us to bring banners and other fan props to the stadium, acting in this case as an extended arm of the Dinamo management. Since the Dinamo management is controlled from Medjugorje, it is evident in what rhythm the Zagreb Police Department is dancing.

After all, we saw the same scenario years earlier, when the same club created illegal and completely unfounded 'blacklists' of fans who were prevented from accessing the stadium, in which police officers also assisted them on Zdravko Mamić's official and unofficial payroll.

After refusing to enter the stadium in their rhythm and according to their rules, every entrance to the gas station on the highway was blocked by the police. No one from the police considered it necessary to give information when they would allow us to stop at a gas station or rest area. Although the whole day, according to the police, was fair and without incidents, instead of talking to the fans, the police chose bans, and water, food, and drink for more than a thousand and a half of them was to be provided upon arrival in Split, I guess. As if it was not enough to keep them hungry, thirsty, and without basic human and hygienic conditions for more than five hours.

They reacted to the justified revolt with violence and the use of firearms in a way that the competent institutions are obliged to announce.

The random shooting and firing of dozens of bullets at Croatian citizens who had previously been denied fundamental human rights and dignity is an unprecedented example of abuse of the police system and the culmination of the repression to which Hajduk fans have been subjected for years. So far, we have naively believed that at least they do not want to kill us physically. Unconvincing and bizarre explanations about the fans who landed at the gas station out of pure peace and the bullets that 'bounced off the floor' probably speak for themselves. It is only necessary to re-listen to the deceptions and miserable attempts to camouflage at today's police press conference. And hear a notorious lie even when it comes to basic, easily verifiable data. For example, none of the shot citizens were injured at the famous gas station but among a column of cars stopped on the highway.

It should be said that even after the situation calmed down, the treatment of fans did not change at all: on the contrary, with the arrival of police reinforcements, indiscriminate and random beatings of fans and all citizens who happened to be nearby, pulling them out of vehicles in the rain and throwing them on the floor, unreasonably destroying vehicles, tear gas terror and mass, unfounded arrests. Dozens of entirely innocent citizens were injured in this arrogant demonstration of force, many with broken arms, legs, and heads, and few dared even to report the injury. To whom, after all? And what would he get besides apprehension and reporting, perhaps a promise that the police would forgive them for beating them?

There are no official reports, recordings, or witnesses about all this, nor have we heard explanations from police chiefs, nor - instructed by previous experiences - do we expect investigations and sanctions of those responsible for grossly exceeding the authority of police officers. However, the Hajduk Fans Club 'Torcida Split' will never accept the attempt to limit the human rights of its members, Hajduk fans, and all Croatian citizens.

Every blow strengthens us!

Dinamo didn't wait long to make a statement after Toricda... (Source: GNK Dinamo website)

After witnessing the violence that took place last night on the A1 motorway, which Hajduk fans justify with alleged unreasonable decisions by Dinamo, we want to explain why HNK Hajduk fans did not want to enter the Dinamo - Hajduk derby match played on May 21, 2022, at Maksimir.

We signed an agreement with HNK Hajduk on the sale of tickets for our match, according to which Hajduk was to distribute 2,000 tickets for the Maksimir Stadium south stands. According to the contract, Hajduk had to submit a list of fans to whom they sold tickets 24 hours before the start of the match. They submitted that list on the day of the game - Saturday morning. There were 1397 people on the list who were sold tickets.

Furthermore, instructed by taking advantage of our hospitality in December 2021 when a choreography of one look was announced, and then after entering the stands another choreography was performed that emphasized hatred towards our club, we made instructions for visiting fans explaining everything - from general information about the opening hours of the stadium to specific information regarding the review and introduction of banners on the podium. We emphasize that the complete lie is that the introduction of banners is prohibited; there are only specific rules according to which banners can be brought into the stadium. They were indeed told when they should come to the entrance, how they should report the banners, what time, to which official e-mail address they should contact, and the like. Considering that it is below the level of official Dinamo communication to communicate with the Hajduk fan group, we sent all the instructions by e-mail on 18/05/2022 to our colleagues at HNK Hajduk. Since nothing was delivered to the e-mail until Friday, 20/05/2022, we again invited our Hajduk colleagues in writing to help influence their fans to provide us with everything we asked for. Again nothing happened, nor did they contact us. An hour and a half before the start of the match, HNK Hajduk sent an invitation to the GNK Dinamo security commissioner, during which he was informed that Torcida had not reported any of the banners and that they were bringing larger banners, drums, and other fan props. At that moment, they received an answer from us that they would not be allowed to enter the fan props because they did not report them according to the instructions. At the entrance to the south stands, the Dinamo representative spoke with Torcida's lawyer, who did not introduce himself in person and who told him orally that Dinamo was right in this decision. Arriving at the stadium entrance, fans who had tickets were invited to enter the stadium without unregistered banners, but they refused. After a while, they peacefully left the area in front of Maksimir Stadium. 

We remind the public that the same play was performed in 2014 when Hajduk players refused to play a match against Dinamo because we did not want to sell tickets to high-risk Hajduk fans, according to criteria established by the police, following the Law on Prevention of Disorders at Sports Competitions. Unfortunately, less than six months later, Hajduk sold tickets to their fans according to these criteria, which is why they did not play the game at Maksimir, and they still do today.

After taking advantage of our correctness in December 2021, attacking a bus with our players, and a convoy with our fans in March 2022, it was time to say ENOUGH - enough of the violence Torcida carries out in its actions. You can do it all over Croatia - Koprivnica, Osijek, Rijeka, or Šibenik, but in Zagreb and at Maksimir Stadium, you will not. Follow the rules or watch the match from Borongaj. It's all the same to us. 

And so did Hajduk on Sunday evening (Source Gol.hr)

HNK Hajduk condemns all violence. After last night's unfortunate events and scenes in which several people were injured in a clash between fans and the police, we call on everyone in Croatian football for reason, dignity, and peace.

We are sorry to have been deprived yesterday of the energy and support our fans have given us throughout the season. Still, we understand that this is the culmination of all the discriminatory decisions that have been going to the detriment of our fans in away games for years.

We believe that the real problems and causes that led to the unwanted consequences and almost to the tragic outcome must be clearly detected. Hajduk is ready to help all social actors who want a real solution to this problem.

On Thursday, Poljud will be the big sports stage and the final gathering of the exciting season with the Croatian Football Cup final. We invite everyone to join us in Split and that we all enjoy the spectacle and emotions that only Hajduk and Poljud can offer.

From now on, we are entirely focused on preparing for the final, and just like the entire Croatian public, we are waiting for answers.

HNS finally made a statement on Tuesday (Source: HNS website)

The Croatian Football Federation strongly condemns all forms of violence, in and out of stadiums. A responsible organization will continue to systematically and resolutely carry out activities to eradicate any inappropriate behavior from football.

We are saddened by the incident on Saturday on the A1 motorway near the "Desinec" rest area during the caravan of HNK Hajduk fans from Zagreb to Split. The Croatian Football Federation wishes all the wounded and injured, including 20 police officers, a successful and complete recovery.

As the incident took place far from the football stadium, i.e., outside the jurisdiction of the Federation, HNS did not have all the information in addition to that published in the media, which is why it was in no hurry to appear in public.

However, HNS has been actively participating in the entire process since Saturday night and is in direct contact with HNK Hajduk, GNK Dinamo, and the Croatian Police Directorate. HNS calls all parties involved to open and constructive cooperation to calm tensions.

To that end, the Federation invited the leaders of Hajduk and Dinamo and representatives of the Police Directorate to a meeting on Friday, May 27, at the HNS headquarters. The Federation will be an active partner to clubs and the Croatian Police in creating an atmosphere of dialogue, which we see as the best way to solve all existing challenges.

The efforts of HNS so far have resulted in a significant reduction in inappropriate and punishable behavior of fans in the Croatia national team matches, and a positive trend was visible in the just-concluded HT First League season. Therefore, we are convinced that the upcoming football matches - the Cup final and the Croatia national team matches against Austria and France - will be in a positive atmosphere as we have witnessed in recent years.

The Federation will continue to act proactively - by organizing security conferences, the work of the Security Commission, and programs to prevent fan violence. All HNS activities have a common desire for open communication - with clubs, the police, the judiciary, the media, and fan groups. Only by working together, with responsibility for our words and deeds, can we encourage the positive changes that the entire Croatian society expects from us.

Croatian President Zoran Milanović also commented on Tuesday (Source: HINA)

"Stadiums have to be a venue for entertainment, enjoyment, and peace, which is played according to the rules defined by politics. It's not the police in Great Britain that brought the peace but Thatcher and her cabinet. That is far too much pressure for the police.

When the government makes that decision, when it takes a pill for courage, then Torcida and BBB and the others (football fans) will act differently and with respect. That's where we have to start from," said Milanović and added that the government would have his full support in that regard.

"It is unbelievable to me that it came to the situation that the police used firearms. There is an entire range of 'riot control' means that suppresses that behavior - rubber bullets. To shoot from a revolver at people regardless of how many people were involved and how wrong they were. Who planned that? That's unthinkable. Those people could have been dead. This is a problem for the government.

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

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Croatian Cup Final: Hajduk Fan Zone to be Set Up on Split Riva with LED Screen

May 24, 2022 - A Hajduk fan zone will be set up on the Split Riva with a large LED screen for the Croatian Cup final against Rijeka on Thursday at Poljud. 

Due to the exceptional interest of the fans for the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final, HNK Hajduk decided in cooperation with its partners and sponsors, Radio Dalmatia, Karlovačko, and SuperSport, to organize a fan zone which will be located on the Split Riva on Thursday.

The sports and entertainment event called "I can't do anything else but love him..." starts on Thursday at 11 am. Hajduk invites all fans to visit the fan zone and have fun with an exciting entertainment program that includes music performers, surprise guests, food, an amusement park, attractive gifts, and prizes that attendees can win by participating.

The SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final between Rijeka and Hajduk starts at 7 pm. 

"For all those who failed to get a ticket for the Croatian Cup final, a joint viewing was organized on a large LED screen that will be placed at the bottom of the Riva.

The youngest will be delighted by our official mascot Rico, who will hang out with children from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6:30 pm.

Join us on the Riva, enjoy the spectacle, and support Hajduk in the final of the Croatian Football Cup," concluded Hajduk in their announcement

Hajduk finished the 2021/22 HT First League in second place with 72 points. While they fell short of the title this year, they still have a chance to win a trophy this season in the Croatian Cup final against Rijeka on Thursday, May 26. Hajduk and Rijeka will meet at Poljud at 19:00. The last Croatian Cup title Hajduk won was in 2013. They lost to Dinamo in their last Cup final in 2018. Dinamo won the Croatian Cup last season, while Rijeka was the winner in the two seasons prior. 

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

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Hajduk's Marko Livaja Named Top Scorer of 2021/22 HT First League

May 22, 2022 - Hajduk striker Marko Livaja is the top scorer of the 2021/22 HT First League competition season.

Hajduk's #10 scored a total of 28 goals in 34 championship appearances. The Croatian striker also added seven assists to his performance. Marko found himself in Hajduk's starting lineup 33 times, came off the bench once, and played the entire game 27 times. He played 2987 minutes in the championship this season.

He scored at least one goal against each of the teams competing in the HT First League. He scored six times against Istra 1961, five times against Rijeka, four times against Hrvatski Dragovoljac, three times against Gorica and Lokomotiva, twice against Dinamo, Šibenik and Slaven Belupo, and once against Osijek.

2022-05-22-15-34-3990-.jpeg

Recently, Marko Livaja entered the history of the Club, breaking the record from the 1934/1935 season, when the legendary Leo Lemešić scored 26 championship goals in one season. Lemešić is the second-top scorer in the history of the club behind Frane Matošić.

"Marko, congratulations once again on your outstanding achievements this season!" said Hajduk on their official website.

The top scorer in the HNL launched his professional career at Inter and continued in Atalanta, FC Rubin Kazan, Empoli, Las Palmas, AEK, and now Hajduk. His 26th goal against Istra in the 35th round was also the 100th goal of his career. 

Hajduk finished the 2021/22 HT First League in second place with 72 points. While they fell short of the title this year, they still have a chance to win a trophy this season in the Croatian Cup final against Rijeka on Thursday, May 26. Hajduk and Rijeka will meet at Poljud at 19:00. The last Croatian Cup title Hajduk won was in 2013. They lost to Dinamo in their last Cup final in 2018. 

Dinamo won the Croatian Cup last season, while Rijeka was the winner in the two seasons prior. 

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

 

Sunday, 22 May 2022

HNL Round 36 Recap: 2021/22 Croatian Championship Comes to an End

May 22, 2022 - The 36th and final round of the Croatian First League was held on May 20 and 21. Dinamo already clinched the title last weekend, though the season ended with the Dinamo-Hajduk derby at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. Here is our HNL round 36 recap. 

Istra 1961 v. Slaven Belupo (3:1)

Istra and Belupo opened the 36th round on Friday, May 20, in Pula. 

While the first half went without goals, Beljo put Istra ahead in the 48th minute for 1:0. Bande made it 2:0 six minutes later. Balgojevic was shown his second yellow in the 71st minute, forcing Istra to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. Zvonarek made it 2:1 in the 76th minute, but Beljo scored again in the 4th minute of stoppage time for the final 3:1.

 

Istra ended the season in 9th place with 31 points, while Belupo finished in 7th with 36. 

Lokomotiva v. Sibenik (2:1)

Lokomotiva and Sibenik met in Zagreb on Friday, May 20. Kulenovic scored for 1:0 in the 6th minute before Maric made it 2:0 in the 29th. Delic scored for 2:1 in the 41st minute, which was the final score. 

 

Lokomotiva ended the season in 5th place with 49 points, while Sibenik finished in 8th with 32. 

Rijeka v. Dragovoljac (1:0)

Rijeka and Dragovoljac met on Saturday, May 21 at Rujevica. 

The only goal of the match came in the 2nd minute when Obregon scored for 1:0. 

 

Rijeka ended the season in 4th place with 65 points, while Dragovoljac will be relegated from the First League, finishing last with 19 points. 

Gorica v. Osijek (1:1)

Gorica and Osijek met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, May 21.

Jovicic put Gorica ahead in the 30th minute for 1:0 at the half. Bartolec equalized for 1:1 in the 68th which was the final score. 

 

Gorica ended the season in 6th place with 45 points, while Osijek finished in 3rd with 69. 

Dinamo v. Hajduk (3:1)

Dinamo and Hajduk closed out the 36th round and the 2021/22 season at Maksimir on Saturday, May 21. 

While Dinamo already clinched the title in the previous round, the Eternal Derby between these two clubs is always played for pride. Around 2,000 Hajduk fans were meant to be in attendance, though they remained outside the stadium in protest of a new Makrsimir rule regarding banners. 

Petkovic put Dinamo ahead for 1:0 in the 53rd minute. Livaja's goal was called back by VAR in the 68th minute, though he came back to equalize in the 4th minute of stoppage time for 1:1. Dinamo ended up scoring two goals in the final two minutes - with Orsic and Baturina making it 3:1. 

 

Dinamo ended the season in 1st place with 79 points, while Hajduk finished in 2nd with 72. 

You can see the full HNL standings HERE.

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

 

Sunday, 15 May 2022

HNL Round 35: Dinamo Clinches Croatian Championship with One Round To Go

May 15, 2022 - The 35th round of the Croatian First League was played from May 13 to 15, 2022. Hajduk kept their title hopes alive after winning at home against Istra on Saturday until Dinamo beat Sibenik on Sunday to claim the 2021/2022 Croatian Championship title. Here is our HNL round 35 recap. 

Dragovoljac v. Gorica (0:2)

Dragovoljac and Gorica opened the 35th round on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Zagreb. 

Fruk scored for 0:1 in the 5th minute and Golubickas in the 78th for the final 0:2. 

 

Dragovoljac is in last place with 19 points and will be relegated from the First League next season, while Gorica is in 6th place with 44 points.

Slaven Belupo v. Rijeka (2:2)

Belupo and Rijeka met on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Koprivnica. 

The first goal of the match wasn't scored until the 49th minute when Obregon found the back of the net for the Rijeka lead. Krstanovic equalized from the penalty spot in the 56th minute and Bosec gave Belupo the lead for 2:1 in the 59th. Vukcevic equalized for Rijeka in the 79th minute for the final 2:2. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 36 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 62. 

Hajduk v. Istra 1961 (3:1)

Hajduk and Istra met on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Poljud Stadium. 

Mahmoud gave Istra the lead in the 15th minute for 0:1 before Livaja equalized from the penalty spot or 1:1 just before halftime. Mahmoud was shown his second yellow moments later forcing Istra to play with a man down for the entire second half. Livaja scored another penalty in the 51st minute for 2:1 and Krovinovic made it 3:1 three minutes later for the final score. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 2nd place with 72 points, while Istra is in 9th with 28. 

Osijek v. Lokomotiva (1:0)

Osijek and Lokomotiva met on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at City Garden Stadium. 

The only goal of the match came in the 26th minute when Zaper scored for 1:0 and the Osijek win. 

Osijek is in 3rd place with 68 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 46. 

Sibenik v. Dinamo (0:2)

Sibenik and Dinamo closed out the 35th round on Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Sibenik. 

A draw or a loss for Dinamo would mean the Croatian champion would be decided next weekend at Maksimir Stadium between Dinamo and Hajduk. Dinamo, however, came to Sibenik knowing what was at stake and celebrated the title one round early.

Tolic scored in the 39th minute and Bockaj in the 53rd for the final 0:2. 

With this win, Dinamo has secured the Croatian championship title with 76 points, while Sibenik is in 8th place with 32 points. This is Dinamo's 23rd Croatian championship title. 

More soon...

You can see the full HNL standings HERE.

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

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Marko Livaja Breaks 87-Year-Old Hajduk Record with 27 Goals in Single Season!

May 15, 2022 - Marko Livaja has broken an 87-year-old Hajduk record, scoring 27 goals in a single season after two goals from the penalty spot against Istra last night. 

Hajduk's #10 Marko Livaja wrote Hajduk history in Saturday's match against Istra 1961, becoming Hajduk's top scorer in one season with 27 goals! 

Until the match against Istria, he was tied with legendary striker Zlatko Vujović in second place with 25 goals. However, after putting two goals in the back of Istra's net, he broke Leo Lemešić's record from the 1934/35 season with 26 goals scored. Lemešić is the second-top scorer in the history of the club behind Frane Matošić.

Marko scored goals against all clubs in the Croatian First League this season. Namely, in the 2021/22 Croatian Championship, he scored six goals against Istra 1961, five goals against Rijeka, four goals against Hrvatski Dragovoljac, three goals against Gorica and Lokomotiva, two goals against Šibenik and Slaven Belupo, and one goal against both Osijek and Dinamo to seal his title at the top scorer in the league.

It is also clear that with 27 goals, Marko Livaja will win the HNL Golden Boot after Josip Drmić no longer has a chance to catch the Hajduk striker due to a two-match ban. Recall, Drmić was fined 5,000 kuna and a two-match ban for hitting Stefan Simić in last Sunday's Adriatic derby between Rijeka and Hajduk. Drmić is thus in second place with 21 goals, while Dion Drena Beljo, Mislav Oršić, and Marko Dabro (who left Lokomotiva for China a month and a half ago) follow. Drmić will be free for the next two weekends, but he can play in the Cup final between Rijeka and Hajduk at Poljud on May 26.

"Numerous well-deserved hymns have been written about the achievements, statistics, records, moves, and games of Hajduk's #10s. His contribution will surely remain inscribed in the club's history alongside the greatest greats. Not only on the pitch but also off it" concluded Hajduk in a statement

The best player in the HNL started scoring at Inter and continued in Atalanta, FC Rubin Kazan, Empoli, Las Palmas, AEK, and now Hajduk. His 26th goal in Saturday's game was also the 100th goal of his career. 

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

Monday, 9 May 2022

HNL Round 34 Recap: Hajduk Beats Rijeka, Dinamo Tops Osijek in Derby Weekend

May 9, 2022 - The 34th round of the Croatian First League was played from May 6 to 8, 2022. This derby weekend featured Rijeka-Hajduk and Dinamo-Osijek, with both Hajduk and Dinamo winning 3:0, leaving Osijek out of the title race. Here is our HNL round 34 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Slaven Belupo (1:1)

Dragovoljac and Belupo opened the 34th round on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Zagreb. 

Frigan gave Dragovoljac the early lead for 1:0 in the 3rd minute Krstanovic was unable to equalize for Belupo until the 50th minute for 1:1. Karrica received his second yellow in the 81st minute, forcing Dragovoljac to pay with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

 

Dragovoljac remains in the last place with 19 points and will be relegated from the First League, while Belupo is in 7th with 35. 

Gorica v. Lokomotiva (3:3)

Gorica and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Velika Gorica. 

Atiemwen made it 1:0 for Gorica in the 24th minute while Kalik scored for 2:0 in the 39th. Pivaric came back for 2:1 Lokomotiva three minutes later. Pivaric received his second yellow in the 67th minute, leaving Lokomotiva with a player less. However, Keita was also sent off just 5 minutes later, leveling the playing field. Kulenovic scored for 2:3 in the 85th minute and Kalik scored a penalty for 3:3 in the 90th minute which was the final score. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 41 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 46. 

Istra 1961 v. Sibenik (1:2)

Istra and Sibenik met on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Pula. 

Delic put Sibenik ahead in the 26th minute for 0:1. Curic made it 0:2 just before the half. Caseres came back with a goal for 1:2 in the 73rd minute, which was the final score. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 28 points, while Sibenik is in 8th with 32. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (0:3)

Rijeka and Hajduk kicked off the first big derby on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at Rujevica. 

Two Livaja goals in the 13th and 37th minutes put Hajduk ahead by 0:2. Mikanovic scored for 0:3 just before the half. Drmic was shown a red card in the 56th minute, forcing Rijeka to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 61 points, while Hajduk is in 2nd with 69. 

Dinamo v. Osijek (3:0)

Dinamo and Osijek closed out the 34th round on Sunday, May 8, at Maksimir Stadium. 

Orsic put Dinamo in the 1:0 lead in the 34th minute. Osijek's Cheberko was shown his second yellow just 10 minutes later, forcing them to play with a man down for the rest of the match. Spikic made it 2:0 for Dinamo in the 60th minute before Menalo secured Dinamo's win in the 80th for the final 3:0. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 73 points, while Osijek is in 3rd with 65 and is no longer in the title race. 

With just two rounds to go, Dinamo and Sibenik meet next Sunday in Sibenik, while Hajduk and Istra meet on Saturday at Poljud. If Dinamo draws or loses to Sibenik, the Croatian champion will be determined in the final round at Maksimir Stadium between Dinamo and Hajduk. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Football for Peace: Hajduk Jersey Auction Raises 51,450 HRK for Ukrainian Orphans

May 8, 2022 - The Hajduk jersey auction as part of the 'Football for Peace' campaign has raised 51,450 kuna,  in addition to the over 600,000 kn raised through the Hajduk-Shakhtar friendly match and donor phone line! 

Hajduk recently presented its new home jersey for next season which is now finally on sale to the public as of this weekend.

The first 12 copies of the new Hajduk jersey, made of 100 percent recycled plastic and special eco-fabric (13 0.5-liter plastic bottles were needed to make one jersey) have been donated in the 'Football for Peace' auction to raise money for Ukrainian orphans. 

The 'Football for Peace' campaign also included a friendly match in Split between Hajduk and Shakhtar, where tickets were a symbolic 30 kuna and a donation line was opened for people to call in. Over 600,000 kuna was collected from the match tickets and the donor line, and another 51,450 kuna for the 12 jerseys offered in the auction! 

All of this money will be donated to help orphaned children who lost their parents in the war in Ukraine, and who are currently living in the Republic of Croatia.

After the charity auction ended, Hajduk released a new white jersey for next season, which has been on sale to the public since Saturday. Jerseys can be purchased at Hajduk fan shops at Poljud and TC Joker and through the club's webshop.

The new home jersey is made of 100% recycled plastic, a material certified by the "Global Recycled Standard". The front of the jersey is made of a special eco-fabric, which follows "Body mapping", and the jersey itself has perforations (holes) in places where athletes sweat the most while creating a special visual effect reminiscent of armor.

With all these details, the new home jersey comes with a knitted collar and sleeve edges with red and blue lines that represent the tradition of the Club, and on the back, on the collar, there is a sewn inscription "Hajduk lives forever". On the front of the jersey, on the right, is the silicone logo Macron Hero, while on the left, over the heart, is the silicone coat of arms of HNK Hajduk.

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

Monday, 2 May 2022

HNL Round 33 Recap: Osijek Drops to 3rd, Hajduk Only 4 Points Behind Dinamo

May 2, 2022 - The 33rd round of the Croatian First League was played from April 29 to May 1, 2022. This round saw Osijek and Istra draw 2:2, which put Hajduk into 2nd just four points behind Dinamo in first place. Here is our HNL round 33 recap. 

Hajduk v. Hr. Dragovoljac (2:1)

Hajduk and Dragovoljac opened the 33rd round on Friday, April 29, 2022, at Poljud Stadium in Split in front of 9,775 fans. 

Nikola Kalinic gave Hajduk the early lead with a goal in the 6th minute for 1:0. Frigan equalized early in the second half for 1:1 in the 51st minute. Marko Livaja secured Hajduk's win in the 87th minute, which ultimately sealed Dragovoljac's fate outside of the Croatian First League next season. 

 

Hajduk is now in 2nd place with 66 points, while Dragovoljac is in the last place with 18. 

Slaven Belupo v. Gorica (2:1)

Belupo and Gorica met on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Koprivnica in front of 505 fans. 

Babec put Gorica in the lead in the 19th minute for 0:1 at the half. Krstanovic equalized for 1:1 in the 72nd minute and Bozic gave Belupo the victory with a goal in the 81st minute for the final 2:1. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 34 points, while Gorica is in 6th with 40. 

Sibenik v. Rijeka (3:5)

Sibenik and Rijeka met on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Sibenik in front of 778 fans. 

Drmic put Rijeka in the lead in the 12th minute while Mesa equalized for 1:1 in the 27th minute. Grezda scored for 2:1 Sibenik less than 10 minutes later and Pavicic scored one minute after that for 2:2 at the half. Kresic put Rijeka back in the lead in the 49th minute for 2:3, and Drmic scored for 2:4 and 2:5 in the 69th and 72nd minutes. Bilic scored for the final 3:5 with 10 minutes to go. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 8th place with 29 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 61. 

Osijek v. Istra 1961 (2:2)

Osijek and Rijeka met on Sunday, May 1, 2022, at City Garden Stadium in front of 2,668 fans. 

Osijek was up 2:0 in the 12th minute thanks to goals by Lovric and Caktas. Perkovic and Galilea equalized in the 18th and 39th minutes for 2:2 at the half Neither team was able to score in the second half. 

 

Osijek has dropped to 3rd place with 65 points, while Istra is in 9th with 28. 

Lokomotiva v. Dinamo (1:1)

Lokomotiva and Dinamo closed out the 33rd round on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Zagreb. 

Kulenovic put Lokomotiva in the lead with 1:0 in the 30th minute. Soldo scored an own goal for 1:1, which was the final score. 

 

Lokomotiva is in 5th place with 45 points, while Dinamo is in first with 70. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

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