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HNL Week 7: Hajduk on Top

September 3, 2019





The soccer gods were resting their heads in Split this weekend.



Hajduk Split not only took all tree points from Dinamo at Poljud, but they did it in front of a sold out crowd and held the current Croatian champions scoreless in the process.



Some say Dinamo was tired from their recent match against Rosenberg, and others say they were mentally checked out from entering the Champions League group stages. But I say no excuses. Hajduk outplayed the Modri on Saturday.



Dinamo fielded a near-identical team against Hajduk that also faced Rosenberg several days earlier. This is the same team – minus Dani Olmo making way for newcomer Luka Ivanušec while Dino Perić rested in favor of Kevin Theophile-Catherine – that brought Dinamo into the Champions League.



Dinamo came out with an open game plan and tried to put Hajduk on its heels early.



Marin Leovac gave the home crowd an early scare with an impressive free kick that struck the post in the fifth minute but parried out of play, leaving the match scoreless.



The first half remained under Dinamo control, but they were unable to finish any of their numerous chances on goal.







The second half came about in favor of Hajduk; the Bili had some of their best chances on goal early on and continued to push Dinamo back until finding the back of the net off the head of Bassel Jradi.



The goal was set up by a free kick from keeper Dominik Livaković‘s left side. A dangerous ball was sent in by Josip Juranović and headed on goal by Darko Nejasmić. Livaković was able to make an awkward save on the shot but left the rebound for Jradi to head the ball in from close range for the only goal of the day.





No derby is complete with out its drama.



The match ended with with three red cards issued in quick succession.



Dinamo centerback Emir Dilaver was the first to be sent off with a straight red in the 75th minute after an atrocious tackle outside of the penalty area. Arijen Ademi, who was subbed off in the 52nd minute after a leg injury, was issued to immediate yellow cards while on the sideline and sent off into the locker room in the 76th minute. Ademi may have held a grudge after suffering the injury and let his emotions take charge.



Goalscorer Jradi earned his second yellow of the match and was sent off in the 80th minute, equalizing the sides.



The match marked the first victory for Hajduk over Dinamo since February 18, 2018. It was also the first time Hajduk beat Dinamo at Poljud since their 1-0 win on March 20, 2016.



Though unavailable to take part in the match, Filip Bradarić has returned to Hajduk Split on a season-long loan. Striker Ivan Bulos has also joined the ranks of the Bili.





With Dinamo suffering their first loss of the season, it could have been a big day for other clubs looking to surpass the champions, however, it seemed Osijek and Rijeka chose not to kick Dinamo while they were down.



Rijeka ended with a lackluster 1-1 draw against Inter Zaprešić on Sunday that got a bit chippy in the end. Inter went up early with a second-minute penalty but were brought back level with an Alexander Gorgon goal in the 31st minute. Rijeka are in fourth place behind Osijek, Dinamo and Hajduk.



But some reinforcements have returned to Rijeka. Former striker Franko Andrijašević on a season-long loan from Gent.



NK Osijek, too, failed to take advantage of Dinamo’s misfortunes and ended their day with a scoreless draw against Istra 1961 in Pula. Istra should be happy with the draw in their campaign to stay up this season. Their efforts may be helped by the signing of Fiorentina player, Josip Maganjić, who joined them on a season-long loan as well.



NK Lokomotiva put a thumping on Slaven Belupo on Friday. The Lokosi registered a 6-1 win in an impressive match. Two goals from Lirim Kastrati puts him in the hunt for top goalscorer in the season. But he better save some scoring for when Sammir makes his return to Croatia.



Yep.  Sammir.



Sammir has signed with the Lokosi from Sport Recife where he played 12 matches. He will be expected to make an impact on the Lokosi’s play, but will it be enough for him to be called up by Zlatko Dalić to the national team?



NK Varaždin remain winless in their return to the Prva Liga after falling to HNK Gorica on Sunday 3-1. Leon Benko scored Varaždin’s only goal while 23-year-old Kristijan Lovrić scored all three of Gorica’s






Colin O'Haravić
Posted By: Colin O'Haravić 12 comments

  1. Dannyj says:

    If nuff cows go down he may
    Apparently Kovacic with bad Achilles injury??

    What’s our midfield gonna look like for the qualifiers
    Modric Broz rog Badelj I’m assuming was called up

  2. CiganJeCigan says:

    Brozovic, Rebic, Vlasic, and Brekalo are our new most important players and need to start every game. Perhaps Dalic should consider Bartolec at RB, but it seems he is still fighting for his position at his club.

  3. Bobby V says:

    Mandzukic left off Juventus Champions League roster.

    Don’t have a very positive outlook for qualifying in 2020. There are many factors going against us right now. Hope Im wrong.

    Congrats to RWB Adria of Chicago for winning the annual Croatian Labor Day tournament. My father was an original board member.

    They went to the anateur national semi-finals this year and have been national champions three times in their history.

  4. Suba says:

    Hajduk on top is only temporary before another slip up along the way but I’ll enjoy it as long it lasts

    Putting club before country gets u nowhere as Rakitic are finding out very quickly but playing for Croatia was always secondary too him

  5. Razbijač says:

    Rakitic’s behavior is particularly reprehensible since he is a vice-captain on the national team!

    It sets a bad example to the other players.

  6. BZ says:

    Hats off to Drazen’s brother, Aco, on his big win for Brazil over Greece. His game plan shutdown reigning mvp Giannis masterfully.
    Do we want him back? What say you Soul?

  7. Soul Champ says:

    @ BZ

    I am happy for Aco!!

    I love international basketball but unfortunately without Croatia involved, tough for me to watch.

    We need a lead guard like his brother.

    There seems to be yet again some talented wings in the pipeline.

    But where is a legit lead guard?

    Hezonja should realize playing a lead guard position for Croatia will actually make him better as a ball player.

    Maybe he can pick a handle training along side Dame and Mcullum?

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