Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Hajduk Juniors Top Manchester City for UEFA Youth League Quarterfinals!

February 28, 2023 - Hajduk Juniors brilliantly knock out Manchester City and advance to the UEFA Youth League quarterfinals!

The Hajduk juniors side met the powerful Manchester City in the UEFA Youth League round of 16 at Poljud. Recall, Hajduk reached the round of 16 after beating Shakhtar.

Coach Marijan Budimir's team was without its standard stopper Luka Vušković and captain Marko Capan, but welcomed the return of Roko Brajković from the first team.

More than 3,000 tickets were sold for this match until yesterday evening, and many of the Hajduk season ticket holders made their way to Poljud today. Torcida was also in full force. 


Hajduk: Buljan - Đolonga, Jurić-Petrašilo, Arković, Hrgović - Kavelj, Reić - Brajković, Skoko, Vrcić - Antunović

Manchester City: Murray-Jones - Samuel, Burns, Katongo, Galvez - Adam, Charles, Bobb - Mebude, Dickson, Borges

To no one's surprise, the favorites were City in this match, but Hajduk came out to prove they are a force to be reckoned with. 

A great opportunity for Hajduk came already in the 6th minute. Reić found Vrcić through the middle in front of City goalkeeper Murray-Jones, but the shot was saved. 

The first half was even and Hajduk showed that it was a good match for City. In the 15th minute, Mebude broke through the right side and shot, but luckily the ball went over Hajduk's goal. City threatened again a few minutes later, but it was Hajduk to take the lead first.

After Murray-Jones intercepted a long pass about 20 meters from his own goal, Brajković ran onto the rebound and sent it into an empty net from the first touch. Hajduk was up 1-0 in the 24th minute! 

And just when Poljud got done celebrating the first goal - their second found the back of the net! Antunovic found space in the defense to score near post for 2-0! 

Hajduk's defense did well to keep any danger away from their goal, but the 19-year-old wonderkid Oscar Bobb was left alone in the penalty area to score for 2-1 at the half. 

City tried hard to equalize in the second half, with several opportunities saved by Hajduk's solid defense. Hajduk had a good chance in the 49th minute. Hrgović passed on the left side and found Antunović in the penalty area, but he shot wide of the goal. 

Hajduk made their first substitutions in the 59th minute - Reić and Skoko went out for Čalušić and Nazor. City made their first subs in the 63rd minute - Oboavwoduo came on for Adam.

Hajduk didn't really have a chance at goal in the second half apart from Antunović's in the 49th minute. City had some good chances from dangerous free kicks, but nothing found the back of the net. 

And then a spurt of chaos in the 84th minute - Finley Burns was sent off with a red card. City was playing with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

A dangerous free kick for City in the 86th minute finished without success. Four minutes of stoppage time were added, and Hajduk held their own for the 2-1 victory! 

Hajduk will play in the quarter-finals against the winner of Borussia Dortmund and PSG. If Hajduk advances, they will play away in the quarter-final. 

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

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Manchester City Academy Training in Istria with Three Premier League Stars

July 23, 2022 - The Manchester City Academy is training in Istria for the sixth consecutive year, but this time including three Premier League champions. 

For the sixth year already, the academy of the English giant arrives in Novigrad in Istria for preparations. Young Istrian footballers had the privilege of playing with them and taking selfies, reports Gol.hr.

The U-18 and U-23 teams of the Premier League champions arrived in Istria for a nine-day training session, and with them are three first-team players - Phil Foden, John Stones, and Ilkay Gundogan.

Due to strict COVID restrictions, the star trio could not go to the preparations in the United States with the first team, so Pep Guardiola sent them to Istria to prepare with the young players. 

Gol.hr writes that despite all efforts, getting a short statement from one of the most expensive footballers today, Phil Foden, is practically impossible. The English club's PR team had done an excellent job hiding him. 

"He is very humble, full of respect, works hard every day," City's academy director Jack Wilcox said of the England international team player and added:

"He wants to improve every minute of every day, and that is why, according to many, he is the best young player in the world."

The talented young City players, some of whom have already made a few appearances for the first team, really admire Croatian footballers, especially Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, and Mateo Kovačić.

Although City can bring today's best players, they invest considerable money in their football academy. 

"Any team in the Premier League can buy top talent from around the world, not just Manchester City, but the academy is much more than that. It tries to develop players who live in the local community and inspire them," said Wilcox.

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

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Dinamo Must Improve Poor Record against English Clubs, Beat Manchester City for Spot in Round of 16

December 10, 2019 - Dinamo Zagreb is facing Premier League champions Manchester City in the final group stage game of the Champions League on Wednesday. The only way for the Croatian side to join their visitors in the Champions League round of 16 is to beat them while Shakhtar mustn’t win at home against Atalanta. 

Over the weekend, Nenad Bjelica’s side won 1:0 on Friday against Varazdin and extended their league lead over second-placed Hajduk to nine points, while City lost 2:1 at home to their city rivals Manchester United and are now 14 points behind Liverpool who sit comfortably at the top. Despite the bad form in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s team is still considered to be one of the favorites to win the Champions League this season, so a hard task is in front Dinamo who have not won in the competition since a 4:0 home success against Atalanta on Matchday 1. 

While Dinamo is unbeaten in ten home European fixtures, a 2:1 defeat of Arsenal in Zagreb in September 2015 is Dinamo's only win against an English club in 12 previous fixtures, home and away with three successive defeats preceding the victory against the Gunners. Even though City have secured the top spot of Group C, Guardiola insists it will be senior first-team players who will feature in Croatia rather than the kids. 

"[Two years ago] we traveled to Shakhtar already qualified, we fought until the end, 2:0 down and then 2:1, we had chances at the end. We’re going to travel with the intention to win, but you need a real urgency to do that, but to respect Shakhtar and Atalanta we have to do it." 

When the Citizens and Dinamo went head to head at the Etihad in October, the Premier League champions fought hard for the 2:0 victory and scored the only goals of the game through the substitutes Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden in the second half. The brave display of Bjelica’s side away from home against one of the best teams in the world could mean that there is still hope for an upset in Zagreb. 

Furthermore, Dinamo have lost only one home game since April 2018 (W36 D6), the 2:1 loss to Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League play-off second leg in August 2018, but City are unbeaten in Group C so far, though two consecutive draws have taken the shine off their initial dominance in the tournament. On paper, it might seem like an easy task for City, but with the help from a sold-out crowd of almost 30,000 Dinamo might have the final word. 

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

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Champions League: Manchester City Tops Dinamo Zagreb 2:0 at Etihad Stadium

October 1, 2019 - Manchester City was better than Dinamo Zagreb (2:0) at Etihad Stadium in the second round of the Champions League on Tuesday. 

Dinamo Zagreb met Manchester City in the second round of the Champions League Group C on Tuesday at Etihad Stadium. Recall, Dinamo topped Atalanta 4:0 in Zagreb in the first round. Both teams secured three points after their first-round matches. 

Dinamo coach Nenad Bjelica had no problem with injured players for Tuesday’s match, while Pep Guardiola was left without Kevin de Bruyne, one of his best. Furthermore, the famous coach still could not count on the John Stones - Aymeric Laporte stopper duo.

Dinamo once again came out with three stoppers. As against Atalanta, in front of Livakovic was Theophile, Peric, and Dilaver, with Stojanovic and Leovac as the backs. In the midfield were Moro, Ademi, Olmo, and Orsic with Petkovic on offense.

Over 1,500 fans traveled from Zagreb to see the spectacle against the Premier League champions. 

Dinamo held their own in the first half, which ended without goals thanks to a stellar defense that made sure Aguero, Mahrez, and David Silva saw none of Dinamo's goal. 


However, whether Dinamo would be able to keep up this stamina in the second half was in question. 

While Dinamo had a few chances to attack at the beginning of the first half, which failed to come to fruition thanks to careless mistakes, City piled on the pressure and put Dinamo’s defense to work much harder than in the first. 

Guardiola subbed Raheem Sterling on for Bernardo Silva in the 57th minute in the hope of some action, and you could tell the celebrated coach was uneasy his side hadn't scored yet.

But then it finally happened for City in the 66th minute - Raheem Sterling scored for 1:0. City dominated and held the majority of the possession in the second half, and Dinamo struggled to get past the halfway line. Dinamo's defense continued denying some of football's biggest players, though a quick counter in extra-time saw Phil Foden score for 2:0, which was the final score of the game. 

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

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Hajduk Confirms: Ante Palaversa Signs for Manchester City!

Hajduk has confirmed the news that 18-year-old Ante Palaversa signed for English Premier League club Manchester City. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

18-Year-Old Hajduk Midfielder Ante Palaversa to Sign for Manchester City?

Ante Palaversa, a young Hajduk midfielder who played in Croatia's second league just a year ago, is set to sign for Manchester City on Tuesday, reports Dalmacija Danas on January 29, 2019. 

Media reports said that Ante Palaversa (18) traveled to Manchester on Monday to visit the Premier League club Manchester City and complete medical examinations on Tuesday. It seems that City and Hajduk will agree that Ante would stay on loan at Hajduk until 2020 and that the Split club would receive 6.3 million euro from the transfer (4.5 million from the transfer and 1.5 million from the loan). Hajduk would also receive 10% from Palaversa’s future transfers, and could even take in various bonuses (if Palaversa plays for City, scores and the like).

With everything in the contract, it is alleged that the transfer amount could exceed 9 million euro when all is said and done, which would make Palaversa the best transfer in Hajduk's history.

The record was held by Nikola Vlašić whose transfer to Everton was around eight million euro. But unlike Vlašić’s transfer, Palaversa has no contract clause that grants part of the transfer money to family. Instead, the full amount goes to Hajduk, reported 24 Sata

This could be an incredible journey for the young midfielder who played for Hajduk II in the second league just a year ago. He is now on the verge of signing with the giant English club led by celebrated coach Pep Guardiola. Palaversa could thus become one of the best Hajduk transfers in history.

It is speculated that Palaversa will have a salary at Manchester City somewhere in the rank of Phil Foden, a 19-year-old English midfielder who receives 140,000 euro a month. 

When compared to the 3,000 euro a month Palaversa was getting at Hajduk (let us remind you, his contract at City would be 45 times more), it is clear why this would be the contract of a lifetime. 

Salary aside, however, this would be an invaluable experience for the young Split footballer, even if he only trained with City's cream of the crop.

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

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Rakitić: I Hope to Someday Work with Pep Guardiola

Croatian National Team footballer and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić said he would one day like to play on a team led by coach Pep Guardiola. Afterall, Guardiola is the reason Rakitić chose to wear the number 4 jersey at the Catalan club, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Will Ćorić Go to Liverpool F.C. this Time?

Liverpool F.C. manager Jürgen Klopp has been stepping up his team’s composition this summer in an effort to further strengthen them for the second half of the season. But who is the German expert wanting to fill in as the missing piece? It is no surprise that Klopp is still after Dinamo Zagreb’s whizkid Ante Ćorić.