Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Just Two Weeks Away, New Croatian First League Schedule Announced

July 29, 2020 - Just 20 days after the end of the 2019/20 season, the new Croatian First League (HNL) season will begin.

On Wednesday, in the presence of all clubs and the commissioner for the competition Josip Brezni, the draw of the competing pairs of the Croatian First League for the 2020/21 season was held, which determined the schedule of matches in the 30th Croatian Championship, which will begin on Friday, August 14.

The draw determined that the champion Dinamo and runner-up Lokomotiva will meet in the 1st round, while the other pairs of the 1st round are Osijek - Slaven Belupo, Hajduk - Istra 1961 / Orijent, Rijeka - Sibenik and Varazdin - Gorica.

The Championship will end on May 15, 2021, when Slaven Belupo - Varazdin, Rijeka - Gorica, Dinamo - Sibenik, Hajduk - Lokomotiva and Osijek - Istra 1961 / Orient will meet.

The biggest derby is scheduled for the 4th round, on September 12, when Hajduk welcomes Dinamo. The Adriatic derby between Hajduk and Rijeka is scheduled for the 5th round at Rujevica. One round later, Rijeka travels to Dinamo as guests.

The potential Rijeka city derby, if the Orient qualifies for the First League, will be played in the 3rd round. Osijek is facing a demanding schedule at the start, playing in the 2nd round against Hajduk, in the 3rd against Dinamo, and the 4th against Rijeka.

The last Championship, which was suspended for almost three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, ended only on July 25, and the Cup final between Rijeka and Lokomotiva is set for August 1 in Sibenik. The qualification playoff for the Croatian First League between Orient and Istra 1961 is still to be played. The first match will be played in Rijeka on August 2, and the return match will be in Pula on August 5.

You can read more about the Croatian First League here.

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

Monday, 27 July 2020

HNL 2019/20 Season Recap: Dinamo, Lokomotiva, Rijeka Finish in Top 3

July 27, 2020 - The 36th round of the Croatian First League was held on July 24 and 25, 2020. The final round of the 2019/20 season secured Dinamo, Lokomotiva, and Rijeka's place in the top 3, while Osijek and Hajduk finished 4th and 5th. 

Dinamo v. Varazdin (2:0)

Dinamo and Varazdin opened the 36th round on Friday, July 24, 2020, at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. 

Mayer scored in the 9th minute for the 1:0 Dinamo lead, and Cuze increased the lead to 2:0 in the 42nd minute for the final result. 

Dinamo finished the season in first place with 80 points, while Varazdin finished in 8th with 36.

Gorica v. Slaven Belupo (0:0)

Gorica and Belupo met on Friday, July 24, 2020, in Velika Gorica.

The game went without goals. 

Gorica finished the season in 6th place with 49 points, while Belupo finished in 7th with 39. 

Inter Zapresic v. Hajduk (1:4)

Inter and Hajduk met on Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Zagreb. 

While the first half went without goals, all the excitement was left for the second. Hajduk's Vuskovic received a double yellow in the 50th minute, forcing Hajduk to play with a man down for the remainder fo the game. Hajduk's Caktas scored seven minutes later for 0:1.

And own goal increased Hajduk's lead to 0:2 in the 63rd minute, and an Inter red card in the 72nd minute evened the playing field. Caktas scored again in the 75th minute for 0:3, Jradi scored in the first minute of added time for 0:4, and Adric got one goal in for Inter in the 93rd for 1:4. 

Inter finished the season in the last place with 17 points and will be relegated from the Croatian First League, while Hajduk finished in 5th with 60 points. 

Rijeka v. Istra. 1961 (4:2)

Rijeka and Istra met on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at Rujevica Stadium. 

Three goals from Colak gave Rijeka a 3:0 lead at the half. Yet another goal from Colak made it 4:0 for Rijeka in the 54th minute. Guzina decreased Rijeka's lead in the 60th minute to 4:1, while a Guzina penalty ended the game 4:2.

Rijeka finished the season in 3rd place with 64 points, while Istra finished in 9th with 25. 

Osijek v. Lokomotiva (1:2)

Osijek and Lokomotiva closed out the 36th round and the 2019/20 season in the battle for second place on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at City Garden Stadium. 

While the first half went without goals, Jakic scored for Lokomotiva in the 53rd minute for 0:1, and Osjiek's Maric equalized for 1:1 five minutes later. An own goal ultimately gave Lokomotiva the 1:2 win in the 88th minute.

Osijek finished the season in 4th place with 62 points, while Lokomotiva finished in 2nd with 65. 

All games in the final round were played without the presence of fans. 

You can see the full HNL table here.

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

 

Monday, 20 July 2020

HNL Round 35 Recap: Rijeka Better than Hajduk in Adriatic Derby at Poljud

July 20, 2020 - The penultimate 35th round of the Croatian First League was held from July 17 to 19, 2020. This round featured the Adriatic Derby between Hajduk and Rijeka, which was the final game played at Poljud this season. 

Slaven Belupo v. Inter Zapresic (3:1)

Belupo and Inter opened the 35th round on Friday, July 17, 2020, in Koprivnica.

Adric scored the first goal of the match in the 13th minute for the Inter lead. Bacelic-Grgic equalized in the 42nd for 1:1 at the half. 

Etoundi increased Belupo's lead in the 49th minute for 2:1, and a Krstanovic penalty made it 3:1 three minutes later.

Slaven Belupo is currently in 7th place with 38 points, while Inter is in the last place with 17. 

Varazdin v. Osijek (1:0)

Varazdin and Osijek met in Varazdin on Saturday, July 18, 2020. 

A Drozdek goal in the 39th minute gave Varazdin the win. 

Varazdin is currently in 8th place with 36 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 62. 

Istra 1961 v. Dinamo Zagreb (0:0) 

Istra and Dinamo met in Pula on July 18, 2020. 

The game went without goals. 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 25 points, while Dinamo already clinched the titled in first place with 77. 

Lokomotiva v. Gorica (1:1)

Lokomotiva and Gorica met in Zagreb on Sunday, July 19, 2020. 

Budimir scored for Lokomotiva in the 10th minute for the early lead. Twenty minutes later, a Lokomotiva goal was called back by VAR. 

Mudrinski equalized for Gorica in the 61st minute for a final score of 1:1. 

Lokomotiva is currently in 3rd place with 62 points, while Gorica is in 6th with 48. 

Hajduk v. Rijeka (2:3)

Hajduk and Rijeka closed out the 35th round on Sunday, July 19, 2020, at Poljud in Split. 

Rijeka's Colak was the first to score with a goal in the 19th minute. Eduok equalized in the 39th for 1:1. Colak scored again during the added time for 1:2 Rijeka at the half. 

A Caktas penalty in the 69th minute made it 2:2, though a header from Galovic in the third minute of added time (90+3') gave Rijeka the 2:3 win. 

Hajduk is currently in 5th place with 57 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 61. 

You can see the full HNL table here

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

 

Monday, 13 July 2020

HNL Round 34 Recap: Hajduk Tops Dinamo in Eternal Derby at Maksimir

July 13, 2020 -  The 34th round of the Croatian First League was held from July 10 to12, 2020. This round featured the 'Eternal Derby' between Dinamo and Hajduk, which was the rival club's final meeting of the season. 

Gorica v. Varazdin (0:1)

Gorica and Varazdin met in Velika Gorica on Friday, July 10, 2020, in front of 953 spectators. 

The only goal of the match came in the 76th minute when Drozdek scored a penalty for 0:1. 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 47 points, while Varazdin is in 8th with 33. 

Inter Zapresic v. Rijeka (0:1)

Inter and Rijeka met on Saturday, July 11, 2020, in Zagreb in front of 312 spectators. 

The only goal of the match came in the 71st minute when Colak scored a penalty Rijeka for 0:1. 

Inter is currently in the last place with 17 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 58. 

Osijek v. Istra 1961 (2:0)

Osijek and Istra met on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at City Garden Stadium in front of 2,178 spectators. 

Lopa scored Osijek's first goal right before the half for 1:0. Maric missed a penalty in the 72nd minute, though Mance increased Osijek's lead with a goal 10 minutes later for the final score of 2:0. 

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 62 points, while Istra is in 9th with 24. 

Slaven Belupo v. Lokomotiva (1:1) 

Belupo and Lokomotiva met in Koprivnica on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

While the first half went without goals, Bogojevic scored in the 62nd minute for the Belupo lead, though Tolic equalized for Lokomotiva in the 73rd minute for the final score of 1:1.

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 35 points, while Lokomotiva is in 3rd with 61. 

Dinamo v. Hajduk (2:3)

Dinamo and Hajduk closed out the 34th round with the 'Eternal Derby' on Sunday, July 12, 2020, at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. 

Dinamo's Ivanusec scored a quick goal in the 13th minute for 1:0. Hajduk's Caktas missed a penalty 10 minutes later, though 19-year-old Cuic equalized for 1:1 in the 31st minute. Dinamo's Gojak received a double yellow in the 45th minute, forcing Dinamo to play with a man down for the entire second half. 

Orsic put Dinamo back in the lead in the 61st minute for 2:1, though Cuic scored his second goal fo the game for Hajduk to equalize again for 2:2 in the 81st. An own goal by Theophile-Catherine gave Hajduk the 2:3 win in the 86th minute. 

Dinamo has already clinched the title and sits in 1st place with 76 points, while Hajduk is in 5th with 57.

You can see the full HNL table here

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

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Zoran Mamic to Lead Dinamo Until End of Season, First Match Against Hajduk

July 7, 2020 - After Jovicevic was sacked on Monday, the Zagreb club announced that Zoran Mamic would lead Dinamo Zagreb until the end of the season. Mamic is the club's sports director, the brother of the infamous Zdravko Mamic, and former Dinamo captain and coach. Two years ago, he was sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison for damaging the club.

"Civic football club Dinamo informs the public that in the remaining three HNL games until the end of the 2019/20 competition season, the first Dinamo team will be led by the club's sports director, Mr. Zoran Mamić," Dinamo announced, as Index.hr reported.

The middle Mamic brother, because, in addition to him and the older Zdravko, Zdravko's son Mario or Mamić Jr. also benefited from the family club, commented on the fact that he is taking over Dinamo for the second time as a coach, which he already led from 2013 to 2016.

"The situation is such that we must not rush into a decision and allow ourselves to take the wrong step. European competitions are very close, and we know how much it means to Dinamo and Croatian football to play in European groups. With these three games until the end of the season, we will have time to decide who will lead Dinamo next season."

Zoran Mamic is the current sports director and brother of fugitive Zdravko Mamic. Both brothers are under a non-final verdict for heavily robbing the club they lead. Dinamo boss Zdravko Mamic, his brother Zoran, former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanovic and tax collector Milan Pernar were found guilty in 2018 by a non-judicial verdict of the Osijek County Court by USKOK's accusations of extracting around 116 million kuna from the club and causing damage to the state budget of 12.2 million kuna. They were sentenced to prison terms, with Zdravko Mamic receiving six and a half years, and his brother Zoran four years and 11 months in prison.

Zoran Mamic coached in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from 2016 to 2019, and he officially returned to Dinamo as the director last summer.

He will now debut on the bench against Hajduk on Sunday. In the role of his assistant, Damir Krznar is mentioned, a soldier of the club who, along with the middle Mamic brother, gathered experience in the Middle East. They returned to Dinamo together last summer. Krznar led the youth forces and briefly helped Jovicevic in the coaching staff of the first team.

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

 

Monday, 6 July 2020

HNL Round 33 Recap: Osijek Better than Hajduk, Rijeka Tops Dinamo

July 6, 2020 - The 33rd round of the Croatian First League was held from July 4 to 5, 2020. This round featured two big derbies, between Hajduk and Osijek, and Rijeka and Dinamo. 

Istra 1961 v. Gorica (2:2)

Istra and Gorica opened the 33rd round in Pula on Saturday, July 4, 2020. 

Istra led right before the half with a goal by Grzan for 1:0. Hamad and Mudrinski put Gorica in the lead with goals in the 49' and 51' minutes for 1:2. Delic equalized for Istra in the 81st minute for a final score of 2:2. 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 24 points, while Gorica is in 6th with 47. 

Varazdin v. Slaven Belupo (1:0)

Varazdin and Belupo met on Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Koprivnica.

Drozdek scored the only goal of the game, which was a penalty in the 79th minute for 1:0 Varazdin. 

Varazdin is currently in 8th place with 30 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 34. 

Lokomotiva v. Inter Zapresic (3:1)

Lokomotiva and Inter met on Saturday, July 4, in Zagreb. 

Markovic put Lokomotiva in the lead with a goal in the 30th minute for 1:0 at the half. Mamut equalized for Inter in the 52nd minute. Goals by Tolic and Jakic in the final minutes of the gale ultimately gave Lokomotiva the 3:1 win. 

Lokomotiva is currently in 2nd place with 60 points, while Inter is in the last place with 17. 

Hajduk v. Osijek (0:1)

Hajduk and Osijek met on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

The only goal of the game came in the 15th minute, thanks to Bockaj for 0:1 Osijek. 

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

Rijeka v. Dinamo (2:0)

Rijeka and Dinamo closed out the 33rd round on Sunday, July 5, 2020, at Rujevica Stadium. 

An own goal by Gvardiol made it 1:0 for Rijeka in the 2nd minute. Colak increased Rijeka's lead to 2:0 in the 52nd minute, which was the final score of the game. 

Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 55 points, while Dinamo is in first with 76. 

You can see the full HNL table here

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicate page

Thursday, 2 July 2020

HNL Round 32 Recap: Osijek Better than Rijeka, Hajduk Drops to 4th

July 2, 2020 - The 32nd round of the Croatian First League was held from June 30 to July 1, 2020. This round saw Hajduk lose to Gorica, while Osijek defeated Rijeka. 

Slaven Belupo v. Istra 1961 (3:0)

Belupo and Istra opened the 32nd round on Tuesday, June 30, in Koprivnica, in front of 502 spectators. 

All three of Belupo's goals were scored in the first half - Zirdum (13'), Krstanovic (25'), and Jeffren (27') for the 3:0 victory. 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 34 points, while Istra is in 9th with 23. 

Lokomotiva v. Varazdin (2:0)

Lokomotiva and Varazdin met on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Zagreb in front of 683 spectators. 

Tuci scored for Lokomotiva seconds before the half for 1:0. Jakic increased Lokomotiva's lead to 2:0 in the 84th minute for 2:0. 

Lokomotiva is currently in 2nd place with 57 points, while Varazdin is in 8th with 27. 

Gorica v. Hajduk (3:1)

Gorica and Hajduk met in Velika Gorica on Wednesday, June 30, 2020, in Velika Gorica in front of 1,700 spectators. 

Gorica's Hamad scored first in the 17th minute for 1:0 Gorica. Suk increased Gorica's lead to 2:0 in the 43rd for 2:0. Jakolis came back with one goal for Hajduk for 2:1 at the half. 

Ndiaye's goal in the 53rd minute gave Gorica the 3:1 win. 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 46 points, while Hajduk has dropped to 4th place with 54.  

Inter Zapresic v. Dinamo Zagreb (0:1)

Inter and Dinamo met on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, in Zapresic in front of 5,228 spectators. 

While the first half went without goals, Dinamo's Cuze scored in the 61st minute for 0:1, which was the final score of the game. 

Inter is currently in 10th place with 17 points, while Dinamo is in first with 76. 

Osijek v. Rijeka (1:0)

Osijek and Rijeka closed out the 32nd round at City Garden Stadium on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

Mance scored the only goal of the game in the 53rd minute for 1:0. Rijeka's Galovic received his second yellow of the match in the 90th minute. 

Osijek is currently in 3rd place with 56 points, while Rijeka is in 5th with 52. 

You can see the full HNL table here.

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

Sunday, 28 June 2020

HNL Round 31 Recap: Hajduk Jumps Back to 2nd Place, Dinamo and Osijek Draw

June 28, 2020 -  The 31st round of the Croatian First League was held from June 25 to 27, 2020. This round saw Hajduk top Slaven Belupo for a move back to 2nd place, while Gorica was better than Rijeka, and Dinamo and Osijek drew. 

Istra 1961 v. Lokomotiva (1:1)

Istra and Lokomotiva opened the 31st round on Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Pula in front of 665 spectators. 

Lokomotiva's Kastrati was the first to score with a goal in the 8th minute for 0:1. Guzina equalized for Istra just six minutes later for 1:1. 

The second half went without goals, though Karacic was booked for a red card in the 69th minute. Lokomotiva ended the game with 10 players, and a final score of 1:1.

Istra is currently in 9th place with 23 points, while Lokomotiva is in 3rd with 54. 

Varazdin v. Inter Zapresic (1:0)

Varazdin and Inter met on Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Varazdin in front of 2,194 spectators. 

Obregon's goal in the 33rd minute was enough to give Varazdin the 1:0 win.

Varazdin is currently in 8th place with 27 points, while Inter is in the last place with 17. 

Rijeka v. Gorica (1:2)

Rijeka and Gorica met on Friday, June 26, 2020, at Rujevica Stadium in front of 2,071 spectators. 

A Gorica penalty saw Lovric score for 0:1 in the 12th minute. Ndiaye increased Gorica's lead in the 79th minute for 0:2, though Rijeka was able to get one in the 84th minute thanks to Pires. 

Rijeka is currently in  5th place with 52 points, while Gorica is in 6th with 43. 

Hajduk v. Slaven Belupo (2:1)

Hajduk and Belupo met at Poljud Stadium on Friday, June 26, 2020, in front of 4,253 spectators. 

A Caktas penalty put Hajduk in the lead for 1:0 in the 10th minute. Medjimorec equalized in the 25th minute for 1:1 at the half. 

A 60th-minute goal for Eduok put Hajduk pack in the lead for 2:1, which was the final score of the match. 

Dinamo v. Osijek (0:0)

Dinamo and Osijek closed out the 31st round on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at Maksimir Stadium.

The match went without goals and ended 0:0.

Dinamo sits in first place with 73 points, while Osijek is in 4th with 53.

You can see the full HNL table here

For more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 26 June 2020

Hajduk Fans Return to Poljud Stadium after 114 Days

June 26, 2020 - Hajduk and Slaven Belupo met at Poljud Stadium for the 31st round of the Croatian First League. It was Hajduk's first game in front of home fans since the league came to a halt because of COVID-19. 

After Gorica topped Rijeka at Rujevica Stadium on Friday night, Hajduk met Slaven Belupo in front of their fans for the first time in 114 days. Recall, while other clubs were able to welcome back their fans already a few rounds ago, the Split club had to serve a punishment of a game behind closed doors. 

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With the coronavirus on the rise again in Croatia, stricter measures were enforced at the stadium. Namely, temperature checks were reinstated for journalists at the entrance, while we were asked to disinfect our hands before entering. Furthermore, we had to sit one per table instead of the usual two. The jumbo screen at the stadium also reminded fans to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. 

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Whether they feared the coronavirus would spread or were boycotting because of Hajduk's last two losses and drop to 5th place, the stadium wasn't nearly as full as expected, considering the Split club's beloved fans haven't seen them play in the flesh in almost four months. Namely, only 4,523 fans were in attendance. 

Hajduk played with a bit of a weaker squad on Friday night, missing a few starting players due to injuries and yellow cards. Slaven Belupo was also in a weaker form. A win for Hajduk was imperative.

The fans at Poljud showed enthusiasm at the beginning and Torcida's chants certainly helped Hajduk to their first goal. Caktaks scored a penalty for 1:0 in the 10th minute. 

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Slaven Belupo equalized thanks to an easy goal by Medjimorec in the 25th minute. The game ended 1:1 at the half. 

The second half started with only one Hajduk substitution, as Dolcek came on for Colina. Hajduk was quick to score their second goal, which came in the 59th minute. A header by Eduok rattled the Belupo keeper for 2:1!

Belupo was awarded a VAR penalty in the 90th minute, which was hit wide to keep the game 2:1 for Hajduk. Nine minutes of injury time were added, though neither team was able to score. Hajduk won 2:1. 

Dinamo and Osijek close out the 31st round on Saturday at Maksimir Stadium. Stay tuned for our 31st round recap on Monday. 

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

 

Monday, 22 June 2020

HNL Round 30 Recap: Dinamo Clinches Croatian Title, Hajduk Drops to 5th

June 22, 2020 - The 30th round of the Croatian First League was played from June 20 to 21, 2020. This round saw losses for Rijeka and Hajduk, while Dinamo mathematically secured their 31st title.

Inter Zapresic v. Osijek (0:1)

Inter and Osijek opened the 30th round on Saturday, June 20, 2020, in Zagreb. 

While the first half went without goals, Maric scored for Osijek in the 67th minute for 0:1 and the final score of the game. 

Inter is currently in the last place with 17 points, while Osijek is in 3rd with 52. 

Varazdin v. Istra 1961 (3:0)

Varazdin and Istra met at NK Varteks Stadium on Saturday, June 20, 2020. 

Another game that saw no goals in the first half, Obregon opened the scoring for Varazdin with a goal in the 54th minute, while Drozdek (85') and Petkovic (95') made it 3:0. 

Varazdin is currently in 8th place with 24 points, while Istra is in 9th with 22. 

Gorica v. Dinamo (0:0)

Gorica and Dinamo met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, June 20, 2020. 

A rather uneventful game that went without goals, Gorica and Dinamo ended 0:0.

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 40 points, while Dinamo is in first with 72 and has mathematically clinched the Croatia First League title. 

Slaven Belupo v. Rijeka (1:0)

Belupo and Rijeka met in Koprivnica on Sunday, June 21, 2020. 

Mateus' goal in the 30th minute was enough for Belupo, who held their own for the victory against Rijeka. 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 31 points, While Rijeka is in 4th with 52. 

Lokomotiva v. Hajduk (3:2)

Lokomotiva and Hajduk closed out the 30th round in Zagreb on Sunday, June 21, 2020. 

A Caktas goal in the 3rd minute of the match gave Hajduk an early lead. A Caktas penalty in the 36th minute made it 0:2. However, Kolinger scored for Lokomotiva right before the half, which ultimately changed the game for Hajduk. 

The game was 1:2 for Hajduk until the 66th minute, when Tuci equalized for 2:2. In the 7th minute of added time (97'), Kolinger gave Lokomotiva the lead, and ultimately the 3:2 win. 

Lokomotiva has now jumped to 2nd place with 53 points, while Hajduk has dropped to 5th place with 51. 

You can see the full HNL table here.

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

 
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