Monday, 1 March 2021

Goran Tomić Named New Coach of Rijeka!

March 1, 2021 - Goran Tomić has been named the new coach of Rijeka!

The former Lokomotiva coach arrives at Rujevica after Simon Rožman left the club on Saturday. Recall, Rijeka suffered a 0:1 defeat to Hajduk in the 23rd round of the HNL on Saturday. 

Goran Tomić came to Rujevica on Sunday. The Šibenik native, who did a top job with Lokomotiva last season, finishing 2nd in the HNL with a spot in the Champions League, recently lost his engagement in China, and ideally fits into the "long-term solution" Rijeka is after. In the Cup final last summer, Tomić lost with Lokomotiva against Rijeka and Rožman in Šibenik.

Tomić left Lokomotiva in early January to succeed Giovanni van Bronckhorst on the bench of Chinese Premier League Guangzhou City. His visa to China was denied after he contracted COVID-19.

Rijeka was taken over by Slovenian expert Simon Rožman in September 2019, when he succeeded Igor Bišćan, who went to the U-21 national team. In the first season on the Rijeka bench, Rožman won the Cup, beating Lokomotiva 1:0 in the final, and won third place in the Croatian championship. Only 12 days ago, he signed to extend his contract with Rijeka.

"Goran Tomić is the new coach of the Croatian Football Club Rijeka. Tomic signed a contract for a year and a half with the possibility to extend for another year. Goran, welcome," announced Rijeka on its Twitter page.

HNK Rijeka presented Goran Tomić at a press conference at 2 pm. 

"I was given a great honor and opportunity to lead one of the largest Croatian clubs. I want to be the coach of a great club and fight for trophies and the highest goals and I thank you for the trust and honor that was shown to me," said Tomić.

"As soon as Rijeka's call came, I didn't hesitate for a second. I come full of energy and confidence in the desire to turn the situation around for the better. I will do everything in cooperation with the headquarters to achieve the goals of Rijeka. There is quality in the team and I will do everything possible in a short period of time to be ready," he added.

Sports director Ivan Mance also wished the new coach all the best.

"At the beginning, we want to thank Simon Rožman for his cooperation, the results show how good he was. He achieved great success, won the Croatian Cup, and achieved placement in the Europa League group stage. I am happy that our first and only candidate for coach has become the coach of Rijeka. Goran, I wish you all the luck in the world and a lot of success."

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Monday, 1 March 2021

HNL Round 23 Recap: Osijek Comes Back to Beat Varazdin 3:2, Hajduk Tops Rijeka Again

March 1, 2021 - The 23rd round of the Croatian First League was held from February 26 to 28, 2021. In this round, Osijek comes back to beat Varazdin, and Hajduk records another win at Rujevica against Rijeka. 

Varazdin v. Osijek (2:3)

Varazdin and Osijek opened the 23rd round on Friday, February 26, 2021, in Varazdin. 

Peco scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute for 1:0 Varazdin, which Herrera increased to 2:0 five minutes later. Varazdin could not hold onto their lead for long, with an Osijek penalty in the 52nd minute (Mierez) bringing them back in the game. Santini equalized for Osijek in the 68th minute, and Mierez scored again for the 2:3 win 10 minutes later. 


Varazdin is currently in 7th place with 22 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 51. 

Sibenik v. Lokomotiva (0:0)

Sibenik and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, February 27, 2021, in Sibenik. 

Neither team was able to score in the 0:0 draw. 


Sibenik is currently in 6th place with 26 points, while Lokomotiva is in 9th with 19. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (0:1)

The thrilling Adriatic Derby between Rijeka and Hajduk was played on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at Rujevica Stadium. 

The only goal of the match came in the 72nd minute when Umut scored thanks to Livaja's debut assist for 0:1 Hajduk. Rijeka was awarded a penalty in the final seconds of the match (96'), but Andrijasevic shot at goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic for the critical Hajduk win. Rijeka's coach Simon Rožman resigned after the match, and the club should announce a new coach soon. 


Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 32 points, while Hajduk is in 5th place with 29. 

Gorica v. Istra 1961 (2:1)

Gorica and Istra met on Sunday, February 28, 2021, in Velika Gorica. 

Istra's Bande scored the first goal of the match in the 25th minute, which was the score at the half. Lovric equalized for 1:1 in the 50th minute, and Mudrinski gave Gorica the lead in the 73rd minute for the 2:1 final result. 


Gorica is currently in 3rd place with 46 points, while Istra is in 10th place with 14. 

Dinamo v. Slaven Belupo (3:0)

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo closed out the 23rd round on Sunday, February 28, 2021, at Maksimir Stadium. 

The first half went without goals after a VAR decision called Lauritsen's goal offside in the 37th minute. Gvardiol scored Dinamo's first goal in the 60th minute, followed by Tolic four minutes later for 2:0. Gavranovic made it 3:0 in the 90th minute. 


Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 51 points, while Belupo is in 8th with 21. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.  

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

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Simon Rožman No Longer Rijeka Coach After 0:1 Loss to Hajduk

February 28, 2021 - Coach Simon Rožman (37) resigned after Rijeka's defeat to Hajduk (0:1) at Rujevica in the 23rd round of the HNL on Saturday. The club's management accepted his resignation.

"Simon Rožman is no longer the coach of Rijeka. After the defeat to Hajduk, Rožman offered, and the HNK Rijeka management accepted his resignation, and the model of terminating his contract will be agreed upon. Rožman arrived in Rijeka at the end of September 2019, after which he won the Croatian Cup in 2020. This season placed in the Europa League group stage, where he achieved remarkable results in the competition against Napoli, Real Sociedad, and AZ Alkmaar. HNK Rijeka wishes Simon all the best in the continuation of his career," reads the club's statement, as reported by

The Slovene coach decided to leave Rijeka after another loss to Hajduk. 

"We had two unforced substitutions due to injuries. When I pulled Čerin out, our midfield fell. Hajduk used that. Then we gave everything in the attack. We can't even score from the penalty spot. We need to gather our heads; we need to rest. We gave everything we have; we were 'all in.’ We had 15 shots on target," he said after the loss.

Rožman took over Rijeka in September 2019 when he succeeded Igor Bišćan, who went to the U-21 national team. In the first season on the Rijeka bench, he won the Cup, beating Lokomotiva 1:0 in the final.

He was in third place in the championship, and as the winner of the Cup, he qualified for the Europa League, in which he first defeated the Ukrainian club Colossus and then the strong Copenhagen. Rijeka was drawn into a terribly difficult Europa League group with Napoli, Alkmaar, and Real Sociedad and won a respectable four points.

Eleven days ago, Rožman signed a new contract with Rijeka until 2024.

"Thanks to the club once again for their support, it means a lot to the entire professional staff, and I believe that together we can achieve our goals in the future. The wish of all of us in Rijeka is to continue on the same path. At this moment, the situation may not look the best, We thank the club for thinking the same way, and we all want to develop content on the field together, promote young players to be sustainable, but do not forget the result ambition which is always to try to win a trophy and play in European competitions," said Rožman at the time.

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