Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Hajduk Split Fans, Rejoice! Marko Livaja Signs Contract until 2024

June 9, 2021 - After a campaign that saw the participation of Hajduk fans worldwide, Marko Livaja has agreed to stay at the Split club! 

HNK Hajduk announced the news on its website on Wednesday: 

"To the delight of its entire fan base, HNK Hajduk is proud to announce that Marko Livaja will continue to defend the colors of our Club.

The club and the player have reached an agreement to extend the contract until the summer of 2024, and Marko will, from now on, wear the number 10 jersey.

Livaja returned to Poljud in February this year, and since then, has played 17 official matches for the Whites, scoring seven goals and eight assists. He delighted the entire public with his performances on the pitch, delighting all our fans, and he was the main wheel and leader of the team in the second part of the season.

Marko will be with the team from the first day of preparations, which officially begins on Monday, June 14 at Poljud."

"First of all, I want to thank all the fans. Since I came, and especially in the last month, you have emitted so much positive energy towards my family and me, countless messages of support, approval, and wishes for my stay. Even if I wanted to leave, it wouldn't be possible with all this you've done. From the very beginning, I desired to try to make something here that will be remembered. I think we still have unfinished business, and I am glad that together we are fighting for the highest goals," said Marko after signing the contract.

"This is a significant day for the Club; we are happy to have signed a long-term contract with Marko Livaja. He was the wish not only of us but of the entire fan base. Thanks to Marko, his wife Iris, and his whole family because they believe in Hajduk and what we do. Thanks also to the mediator who assisted in this work, Vincenzo Cavalieri. Thanks also to all the fans who participated in the #LivajaOstani campaign, which played a crucial role in his decision. Now we continue together, ready for new challenges and the fight for trophies," concluded the sports director of Mindaugas Nikolicius.

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Saturday, 5 June 2021

Works Continue on Long-Awaited New Poljud Pitch (VIDEO)

June 5, 2021 - Good news for Hajduk fans - works are currently underway on a brand new Poljud pitch that will soon crown the beloved Split stadium! 

Hajduk announced that installing the new hybrid lawn on the main Poljud pitch is in full swing. In accordance with the planned deadlines, the first planned phase of works, removing the lawn and preparing the substrate in cooperation with the company Jadro, has been completed.

In addition, 11 centimeters of old quartz sand were removed for better drainage, and the base for laying new quartz sand was leveled. Among other things, the grass surfaces of the warm-up area and the entire surrounding part outside the tartan track are being renewed.

The field was taken over by the Croatian Football Federation on Friday together with the contractor. In the next phase, they will lay the new pitch! 

 

The latest generation hybrid lawn will eventually cover the current field sand, and Hajduk will soon get the national team-worthy pitch it deserves.

Hajduk's new coach, Jens Gustafsson, will gather the team on June 14 and lead them at the beginning of preparations for the new competitive season.

Hajduk will train until June 17 in Split, when they will head down south to Konavle for three trainings before the first preparatory match. Hajduk will be guests at the 100th-anniversary celebration of HNK Slaven Gruda on June 19 at 5 pm at the Gnjila Sports Center playground.

After visiting the Dubrovnik surroundings, Hajduk will return home to train at Poljud until June 23. The team will then leave for fifteen-day preparations in Slovenia. This year, Hajduk's expedition will stay and do a series of training in the new preparation base in Zreče.

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Friday, 28 May 2021

Swedish Expert Jens Gustafsson Named New Hajduk Coach!

May 28, 2021 - HNK Hajduk has named its new coach, Swedish expert Jens Gustafsson, after parting ways with Paolo Tramezzani earlier this week. 

Hajduk's statement transmitted in full:

"HNK Hajduk and Jens Gustafsson have agreed on a two-year contract, based on which the 42-year-old Swedish expert will take over the position of the first-team coach.

Jens Gustafsson was born in Helsingborg on October 15, 1978. He started his football career in Helsingborg and also played for the Swedish clubs Brage and Falkenberg.

He started his coaching career with the U-17 team of Halmstad, where he was very quickly promoted to the first team coach and stayed there for three and a half years. He was the coach of the U-21 national team of Sweden and was hired as an assistant coach at AIK. For the last four and a half years, he has been the head coach of Norrköping, with whom he has achieved excellent results in the Swedish league.

In addition to graduating from the football academy and passing the UEFA PRO license, Jens Gustafsson also has a university degree in Behaviorism.

He is a modern coach who prefers an attacking style of football, and in Sweden, he excelled in working with young players with whom he regularly raised their value and playing abilities. In his seven-season coaching career so far, he has led over three hundred first-league games.

During his last tenure as Norrköping coach, he led a total of 166 games, recording 91 wins, 38 draws, and 37 losses. His team averaged 1.87 points, averaging 1.90 and conceding 1.19 goals.

We wish Mr. Gustafsson a lot of luck and success in Hajduk!" Hajduk concluded. 

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Thursday, 27 May 2021

Stipe Miočić: "I Want the UFC Title Fight at Poljud" (VIDEO)

May 27, 2021 - Stipe Miočić revealed to Croatian Sports that he wouldn't mind having the UFC title fight at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Legendary UFC fighter Stipe Miočić is not giving up on his career and hopes to return the UFC champion belt he lost against Francis Ngannou.

As UFC boss Dana White recently hinted, Miočić should soon be in the ring against the winner of the Francis Ngannou - Derrick Lewis fight. 

Gol.hr reports that Miočić recently interviewed with Croatian Sports, a Croatian media portal in the United States, and revealed that he should soon arrive in Croatia soon and wishes to fight at Poljud.

"Oh yeah, that would be amazing. I love that Croatian fan mentality, Croatia is a perfect country… I am for the fight in Croatia, at Poljud, let's do it," said Miočić for Croatian Sports.

Journalist Ante Kvartuč asked Miočić if he had watched his beloved Hajduk live. Recall, Miočić was at Poljud during his last visit to Croatia and often pointed out that he was a fan of the famous Split club.

"No, I'm more of a guy who follows the national team," Stipe said honestly.

Croatia has Cro Cop, bronze and silver at the football World Cup, Goran Ivanišević, Marin Čilić, water polo players, basketball players… What do they have to achieve such great success?

"It can't be explained; it's all up to the mentality. You get into something, and you don't go out without achieving something," explains Miočić.

Back in March, and for the second time in his career, Stipe Miočić lost the UFC heavyweight title. Stipe suffered a heavy defeat in the fight for the UFC title in a rematch against Francis Ngannou. The Cameroonian defeated Miočić with a brutal knockout at the beginning of the second round. 

UFC president Dana White recently said that Miočić would fight the winner of Ngannou vs. Derrick Lewis, a highly anticipated fight that should be held this August. Miočić said he is only waiting for the contract to make it real. 

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Saturday, 22 May 2021

HNL Final Round Recap: Hajduk Tops Lokomotiva for 4th Place Europa League Spot!

May 22, 2021 - The 36th and final round of the Croatian First League was played on Saturday. All games but Dinamo v. Sibenik started at 5 pm. A look at our HNL final round recap. 

While the final round did not determine the Croatian First League winner, it was crucial for three clubs as a Europa League spot was on the line - Hajduk, Rijeka, and Gorica were in focus. 

Hajduk v. Lokomotiva (2:0)

Hajduk and Lokomotiva met at Poljud for their final match. A win was imperative for Hajduk to secure the 4th-place spot which leads to Europa League. 

Marko Livaja scored far post in the 29th minute to settle Hajduk's nerves before the half. Hajduk's wunderkind Stipe Biuk sealed Croatia's victory in the 82nd minute for 2:0!

With this victory, Hajduk finishes in 4th place and locks in the final Europa League spot!  Lokomotiva finishes in 8th. 

Osijek v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Osijek and Istra met at City Garden Stadium for their final match. Osijek had already secured 2nd place in the league, though the match had more importance for Istra who was closer to the bottom of the table. 

Kleinheisler scored for Osijek in the 34th minute for 1:0. Istra equalized in the 40th minute thanks to Ivancic. Istra finished in 9th. 

Rijeka v. Gorica (2:1)

Rijeka and Gorica met at Rujevica for their final match. A win would put Rijeka ahead of Gorica in 3rd, but a draw or loss would knock them down to 5th if Hajduk won.

Rijeka's Andrijasevic scored in the 10th minute for the early Rijeka lead. Gorica's Babec equalized ten minutes later for 1:1. Rijeka increased their lead in the 80th minute thanks to a Menalo goal for 2:1. With this result, Rijeka knocks Gorica out of 3rd place and secures a Europa League spot! Gorica thus finishes 5th. 

Slaven Belupo v. Varazdin (1:0)

Slaven Belupo and Varazdin met in Koprivnica for their final match. Belupo scored in the 57th minute but VAR ruled no-goal. Varazdin's goal was also called back minutes later. Zvonarek scored for Belupo in the 88th minute. With this result, Varazdin finishes 10th in the relegation spot. 

Dinamo v. Sibenik (play at 19:30) - result unimportant 

You can see the HNL table HERE

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Monday, 17 May 2021

HNL Round 35 Recap: Hajduk Tops Sibenik, Rijeka Defeats Varazdin to Stay in 4th

May 17, 2021 - The 35th round of the Croatian First League was held on May 15 and 16, 2021. This round saw Hajduk defeat Sibenik, while Rijeka topped Varazdin to remain in 4th place. Here is our HNL round 35 recap. 

Istra 1961 v. Slaven Belupo (1:0)

Istra and Belupo opened the 35th round on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in Pula. 

While the first half went without goals, the only goal of the match came at the start of the second half when Vuk scored for 1:0 and the eventual Istra victory. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 29 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 31. 

Lokomotiva v. Osijek (0:2)

Lokomotiva and Osijek met in Zagreb on Saturday, May 15, 2021. 

Zaper scored Osijek's first goal which was called offside thanks to VAR in the 14th minute. The first half ended at 0:0. Kleinheisler scored in the 60th minute to finally put Osijek in the lead, though Mierez missed a penalty 13 minutes later to keep the game 0:1. Bohar scored for 0:2 in the 3rd minute of added time. 

 

Lokomotiva is currently in 8th place with 30 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 74. 

Varazdin v. Rijeka (2:3)

Varazdin and Rijeka met in Varazdin on Sunday, May 16, 2021. 

Obregon scored the first goal for Varazdin in the 34th minute for 1:0 at the half. Rijeka's Menalo equalized in the 62nd minute, and Capan put Rijeka ahead five minutes later for 1:2. Drmic made it 1:3 for Rijeka in the 79th minute, and Novoselec scored in the 84th for a final score of 2:3.

 

Varazdin is currently in last place with 28 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 58. 

Sibenik v. Hajduk (0:2)

Sibenik and Hajduk met in Sibenik on Sunday, May 17, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, a Livaja header made it 0:1 for Hajduk in the 58th minute. Jakolis increased Hajduk's lead to 0:2 in the 70th. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 6th place with 35 points, while Hajduk is in 5th with 57. 

Gorica v. Dinamo (0:3)

Gorica and Dinamo closed out the 35th round in Velika Gorica on Sunday, May 16, 2021. 

The Croatian champions were too strong for Gorica with two goals by Gavranovic already in the first half (3', 36'). Lovric missed a penalty for Gorica in the 87th minute. Gavranovic secured a hat-trick with a final goal in the 3rd minute of added time for 0:3.

 

Gorica is currently in 3rd place with 59 points, while Dinamo became already became Croatian champions this season, with 82 points in 1st place. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Thursday, 13 May 2021

HNL Round 34 Recap: Hajduk Shocks Gorica at Poljud with 4:0 Win, Osijek Tops Sibenik 3:0

May 13, 2021 - The 34th round of the Croatian First League was held on May 11 and 12, 2021. In this round, Hajduk shocks Gorica at Poljud with a 4:0 victory while Osiejk topped Sibenik 3:0 at home. A look at our HNL round 34 recap. 

Istra 1961 v. Lokomotiva (1:1)

Istra and Lokomotiva opened the 34th round on Tuesday, May 10, 2021, in Pula. 

Pivaric scored a penalty in the 38th minute to put Lokomotiva in the lead before Gonzalez equalized for Istra just before the whistle for halftime (1:1). Neither team was able to score in the second half. 

 

Istra is currently in 10th place with 26 points, while Lokomotiva is in 8th with 30. 

Osijek v. Sibenik (3:0)

Osijek and Sibenik met at City Garden Stadium on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. 

Osijek's Zaper scored from offside in the 28th minute to keep the match 0:0 at the half. Mierez missed a penalty in the 58th minute, but Santini finally got a goal in for Osijek in the 65th minute for 1:0. Mierez got his chance 8 minutes later when he scored for 2:0. Gyursco scored in the final minutes of added time for a final score of 3:0

 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 71 points, while Sibenik is in 6th with 35. 

Slaven Belupo v. Rijeka (0:2)

Belupo and Rijeka met on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Koprivnica.

Andrijasevic put Rijeka in the lead just before the half with a goal in the 40th minute for 0:1. Drmic scored in the 69th minute for 0:2, which was the final score of the match. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 31 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 55. 

Dinamo v. Varazdin (2:2)

Dinamo and Varazdin met at Maksimir Stadium on Wedneday, My 12, 2021. 

Ivanusec scored an early goal for Dinamo to make it 1:0 in the 9th minute, but Elezi equalized in the 34th for 1:1. Peric put Dinamo back in the led for 2:1 at the half. Herrera equalized for Varazdin in the 59th minute for the final 2:2 result. 

 

Dinamo has already clinched the Croatian Championship title and sits in 1st place with 79 points, while Varazdin is in 9th with 28. 

Hajduk v. Gorica (4:0)

Hajduk and Gorica closed out the 34th round on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Hajduk's first goal was thanks to a steller free-kick by Mario Vuskovic for 1:0 in the 14th minute. Kacaniklic made it 2:0 after a brilliant display by Hajduk wonderkid Duje Biuk. Only 7 minutes later, Marko Livaja scored a penalty to make it 3:0, and Biuk got his chance after humiliating the Gorica defense for 4:0 in the 39th minute. 

An own goal for Hajduk happened in the final seconds of the game, which was ultimately called offside by VAR. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 5th place with  54 points, while Gorica is in 3rd with 59. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Monday, 10 May 2021

HNL Round 33 Recap: Dinamo Secures 22nd Croatian Championship Title with Victory at Rujevica

May 10, 2021 - The 33rd round of the Croatian First League was held from May 7 to 9, 2021. In this round, Gorica topped Osijek, Hajduk was better than Varazdin, and Dinamo secured the Croatian championship title after defeating Rijeka at Rujevica. 

Lokomotiva v. Slaven Belupo (3:1)

Lokomotiva and Belupo opened the 33rd round on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Zagreb. 

Krstanovic scored the first goal of the match in the 9th minute for the Belupo lead. Simic scored an offside goal for Lokomotiva to keep Belupo in the lead, but Simic returned 4 minutes later to equalize for 1:1 (25'). Kacavenda made it 2:1 for Lokomotiva in the 65th minute, while a double yellow for Maric saw Lokomitva play with a man down from the 71st minute. 

Pivaric scored in the 90th for 3:1 final score. 

 

Lokomotiva is in 8th place with 29 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 31. 

Sibenik v. Istra 1961 (1:0)

Sibenik and Istra met on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Sibenik. 

The match's only goal came in the 48th minute when Sahiti scored for the Sibenik lead and eventual win. Bailone was sent off the pitch in the 73rd minute, forcing Sibenik to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 6th place with 35 points, while Istra is in the last place with 25. 

Gorica v. Osijek (1:0)

Gorica and Osijek met in Velika Gorica on Friday, May 7, 2021. 

Jovicic scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute. The game was nearly impossible to play due to adverse weather conditions. 

 

Gorica is currently in 3rd place with 59 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 68. 

Varazdin v. Hajduk (0:1)

Varazdin and Hajduk met on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Varazdin. 

The match's only goal came in the 89th minute when Livaja scored a penalty for the Hajduk win. 

 

Varazdin is currently in 9th place with 27 points, while Hajduk is in 5th with 51. 

Rijeka v. Dinamo (1:5)

Rijeka and Dinamo closed out the 33rd round on Sunday, May 9, 2021, at Rujevica. 

Menalo put Rijeka in the lead in the 1st minute of the game for 1:0. Dinamo's Gvardiol scored from offside in the 16th minute, but an own goal by Galovic saw Dinamo equalize for 1:1 in the 43rd. 

Misic put Dinamo ahead in the 48th minute, and another Rijeka own goal (Capan) made it 1:3 for Dinamo one minute later. Orsic scored in the 64th for 1:4, and yet another own goal in the final minutes by Vukcevic gave Dinamo the 1:5 victory. 

 

With this win, Dinamo became Croatian champions for the 22nd time, three rounds before the end of the championship. Rijeka sits in 4th place with 51 points. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

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Friday, 7 May 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from May 3-9, 2021

May 7, 2021 - TCN's regular retrospect of Highlights of the week, through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac. 

President Milanović loved by locals in Plaški. Firefighters quickly reacted to the fire in Zagreb recycle yard. Pula celebrated its liberation while Šibenik received new doses of coronavirus vaccines. Dinamo and Hajduk end their match in a tie. Overall another interesting week in Croatia, and here are more details on all highlights.

 Highlights of the week: President Milanović loved in Plaški county

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© Kristina Stedul Fabac/ PIXSELL

Croatian president Zoran Milanović visited Plaški county near Ogulin on Tuesday to visit the newly-build Firefighter's home and Plaški Culture Home. The locals welcomed president Milanović with ovations, and many use the opportunity to handshake and take a photo with the president. As Večernji List reports, Milanović took the visit as an opportunity to comment on the hate speech incident at Borovo Selo. He stated that the President of Serbian National Council Milorad Pupovac and Croatian Prime Minister „should use the police, but they don't, they are causing incidents.

Highlights of the Week: Pula celebrating its liberation in WW2

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© Srecko Niketic/ PIXSELL

Pula celebrated its annual liberation day and the Pula City Day, marked on May 5. In Tito's park, the traditional commemoration to the fallen WW2 soldiers of Tito's partisan army saw Tiziano Sošić (president of Pula City Council), Elena Puh Belci (vice mayor of Pula), Aleksandar Matić (chief of the City of Pula Office) and Fabrizio Radin (vice-county ruler of Istria county) paid their respects. Representatives of associations of anti-fascist fighters and anti-fascist of the city of Pula were present too. 

 Highlights of the Week: Dinamo and Hajduk end with an even score 1:1

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© Milan Sabic/ PIXSELL

Hajduk and Dinamo's eternal opponents played another game at Hajduk's home of Poljud Stadium in Split on Wednesday. The match was the 22nd round in Croatian First League, and fans couldn't wait for it as the game was postponed.

Hajduk opened the match well and had a chance to take the lead in the first 20 seconds. Kačaniklić received an excellent long ball and ran on the right side. He rushed into the penalty area and shot diagonally, but Livaković came out and closed his corner. Dinamo improved and took the lead in the 16th minute with a goal by Majer, and Livaja returned the favor in the 44th minute. Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes of the match but without success.

After three victories in the previous three clashes with Hajduk this season, Dinamo failed to achieve maximum performance and almost mathematically secured the title but entered the last four rounds with a seven-point advantage over Osijek. The fail happened despite Dinamo facing Hajduk with the strongest possible lineup.  

Highlights of the Week: Vaccination in Šibenik continues successfully

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© Hrvoje Jelavic/ PIXSELL

Larger quantities of vaccines came to Šibenik on Friday, allowing vaccination in Baldeki Sports Hall to go without problems for the second day in the row. The vaccination attracts a number of citizens, so the area got quite crowded.

Highlights of the Week: Recycling yard in Zagreb on fire, reasons unclear

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© Matija Habljak/ PIXSELL

Zagreb's recycling yard, located on Sarajevska Cesta in Novi Zagreb, was victimized by fire but quickly localized and put under control on Tuesday. The fire caught four containers, and 21 firefighters with six fire trucks rushed to the field. Police investigated the cause of the fire, but the reason is, for the moment, unknown. Firefighters managed to operate despite the lack of hydrants, and the thick white smoke was noticed by citizens who live in the buildings close to the yard, reported Večernji List. 

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Monday, 3 May 2021

HNL Round 32 Recap: Hajduk Defeats Rijeka 3:2 at Poljud, Osijek and Varazdin Draw

May 3, 2021 - The 32nd round of the Croatian First League was held from April 30 to May 2, 2021. In this round, Hajduk defeats Rijeka 3:2, keeping their hope alive for a Europa League spot next season, while Osijek fails to catch Dinamo after drawing to Varazdin. 

Lokomotiva v. Sibenik (1:0)

Lokomotiva and Sibenik opened the 32nd round in Zagreb on Friday, April 30, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, Juric's goal for Sibenik was called offside in the 49th minute to keep the game 0:0, though not for long, as Leskovic scored the winning goal for Lokomotiva in the 85th minute. 

Lokomotiva is currently in 9th place with 26 points, while Sibenik is in 6th with 32. 

Slaven Belupo v Dinamo (0:2)

Belupo and Dinamo met in Koprivnica on Saturday, May 1, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, Tolic scored in the 64th for 0:1 Dinamo, and Orsic sealed Dinamo's victory with a goal in the 86th for 0:2. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 31 points, while Dinamo is in first with 74. 

Hajduk v. Rijeka (3:2)

Hajduk and Rijeka met on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Poljud stadium in the crucial fight for a Europa League spot. 

The young Biuk scored an early goal for Hajduk in the 14th minute for 1:0, though Drmic equalized in the 31st for 1:1 at the half. 

Stanko Juric (Stefulj own goal) put Hajduk back in the lead for 2:1 in the 45th, and Kacaniklic made it 3:1 two minutes later. Adrijasevic scored for 3:2 in the 65th. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 5th place with 47 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 52. 

Istra 1961 v. Gorica (0:2)

Istra and Gorica met in Pula on Sunday, May 2, 2021. 

Spikic scored for Gorica in the 42nd minute to make it 0:1 at the half. Hujber was booked for his second yellow in the 79th minute, forcing Istra to play with a man down for the final 10 minutes. Mitrovic increased Gorica's lead in the 4th minute of added time (94'). 

 

Istra is currently in the last place with 25 points, while Gorica is in 3rd with 56. 

Osijek v. Varadin (1:1)

Osijek and Varazdin closed out the 32nd round on Sunday, May 2, 2021, at City Garden Stadium. 

While the first half went without goals, Obregon put Varazdin in the lead in the 69th minute for 0:1. Mierez equalized for Osijek five minutes later for 1:1, which was the final score.

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Slobodan Kadic

Mierez missed a penalty in the 9th minute of added time. 

 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 68 points, while Varazdin is in 8th with 27. 

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

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