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HNL Weeks 1 and 2

July 29, 2019



It was a brief hiatus, I know, but the Prva Liga has made its return not only for the season, but to CroatianSports as well.



As expected, Dinamo is already on pace to clinch another Prva Liga title, but Hajduk, Osijek and Rijeka will all try to keep up with the current champions through the next 36 matches.



Dinamo routinely took care of its younger brother, NK Lokomotiva with goals from the usual rising stars of the club, Damian Kadzior, Mislav Orsic and Bruno Petkovic. THey continued their 3-0 streak with another expected victory in a waterlogged Koprivnica. Petkovic scored his second of the season while Nikola Moro tallied a goal along with Nigerian, Iyayi Atiemwen.



The Modri are ready for the return leg in the Champions League qualifying round set to take place tomorrow. The mach will take place at Maksimir where Dinamo will be defending a 2-0 lead set in the first leg on July 23.



Hajduk Split, however, have reached embarrassment levels previously unseen before after squandering away a sure victory in Europa qualifying. No need to dwell though, as Hajduk have kept up with league expectations with two consecutive wins. The Bili won 2-0 last week while hosting Istra while earning a 3-0 victory away to league newcomers/returnees, Varazdin.



Rijeka recorded two slightly less convincing victories over Varazdin (2-1) and Lokomotiva (1-0), but count all the same on the points table. Rijeka stole all three points in the 92nd minute against Lokomotiva in Zagreb this past weekend with a dying-effort goal from Antonio Colak.



However, of the “big four” it was Osijek who disappointing with a surprising 3-1 loss to HNK Gorica on the weekend. We all saw Gorica’s impressive performance last season, leading the club to a best-ever finish in fifth place, but Osijek is expected to make a push for the top this year and have already dug themselves in a hole, falling behind Dinamo, Hajduk and Rijeka.



Inter Zapresic drew Gorica in the first week while dropping all three points at home to Istra this week. However, they should be happy to stand above Varazdin, Lokomotiva and Slaven, who all finished the first two weeks winless.






Colin O'Haravić
Posted By: Colin O'Haravić 8 comments

  1. CroatiaU14 says:

    Hopefully we can see our young talents in the Prva Liga showcase their talents this year. we already saw Mario Cuze score twice in his Istra debut, let’s hope for more good news like that.

  2. Mr. Black says:

    I just saw a Belgian football talkshow. I didn’t see the Kv Oostende game against Anderlecht (Oostende won 1-2) but the guests were extremely positive about Ante Palaversa as defensive midfielder. Only 19 but already very important for Oostende. He played the entire game. Not only did he win a lot of duels, his passing was excellent too.

    And then there’s Alen Halilovic who didn’t even make the bench for Standard in their game against Cercle Bruges.

    Also Fiolic didn’t make the bench for Genk against Kortrijk.

  3. Maminjo says:

    Good to hear Palaversa is playing.

    It’s tough for a kid from Dalmacija to go to a weird country like Belgium and make it.

    I really like that Dinamo is giving minutes to our key young prospects in these past couple games. Marin, Moro, Majer, and even Baturina have been playing (and succeeding). Almost everyone in the starting lineup are Croats too.

    Great to see them moving away from acquiring cheap, low-ceiling foreign talent, when they had potential National Team youth players sitting on the bench and on the B squad.

    It was ridiculous seeing guys like Junior Fernandes and Hilal Soudani playing a monstrous amount of minutes for Dinamo over so many years, developing their careers, only to be sold for peanuts to teams like Nottingham Forest (and still not make it there, lol).

    What a waste.

  4. Razbijač says:

    I’m hoping this is gonna be an exciting title race….

    Hajduk has started off well, perhaps that loss against the Maltese club was the “kick in the phants” Hajduk needed to jumpstart their season.

    Hajduk play Dinamo at home on 8-31, a victory there could really set the tone for the season for the Bili.

    Dinamo awesome victory today. I have mixed feeling about them going to the CL. Sure the money would be great, but I just feel they would be more competitive in Europa League action.

    Dinamo is a selling club, and doesn’t really retain their talent long enough to be a force in the CL.

    @ …Crnkovic

    Robert Muric was beast against varazdin. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come!

  5. Medo says:

    A shame what’s happened to Halilovic…who knows what could of happened if he stayed and developed a few more years at dynamo…it certainly couldn’t have turned out any worse.
    Hopefully this opens the eyes of some eager youngsters who might want to jump ship too soon.
    Alen ,Coric ,Balic a few others who might end up back in cro if they dont get PT soon.

  6. Dannyj says:

    If someone asked you 5 years ago
    Olmo,Pulisic or Halilovic I bet most would have went with Halilovic
    Let’s hope Palaversa is legit prospect for the repka one day

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