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Dinamo, Rijeka Have “OK” Results In Europa Openers

October 23, 2020


It was an absolute roller coaster of a game as Dinamo Zagreb opened up their Europa League campaign at Maksimir Thursday night against Dutch club Feyenoord. Although the match ended in a scoreless draw, the match could have easily gone 2-0 for either club. In the eighth minute, Croatia #1 keeper, Dominik Livaković, saved a rocket of a penalty shot to keep the game level. Arjen Ademi argued that Dinamo should have had a penalty of their own in the 2nd half, but for some weird reason, there is no VAR in the Europa League group stage.



In the 73rd minute, Feyenoord had a player sent off as Dinamo pressed like a team on a mission, however, the goal never came. Dinamo will spilt the points with Feyenoord, and although they will be disappointed, it won’t be an incredible loss as the other match in Group K – CSKA Moscow vs. Wolfsberger – also ended in a draw.


Livaković Save & Match Highlights



Rijeka will be dissappointed with their 1-0 loss to La Liga’s Real Sociedad; but shouldn’t be. Rijeka went toe-to-toe with a very good Spanish side who now have former Manchester City player, David Silva, and did not concede a goal until injury time in the 1-0 loss. On top of that, Rijeka almost bagged a goal on multiple occasions against a much better Sociedad team on the day. Although Rijeka were only three minutes away from chopping the points, it will be a fantastic confidence boost moving forward in Europa League and HNL matches the rest of the year.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 20 comments

  1. The Great Anonymous Doom says:

    How’s this for a lineup for the next friendly? 4-4-2
    Bradarić, Caleta-Car, Pongračić, Uremović; Rebić, Brozović, Vlasić, Brekalo; Kramarić, Petković

    This way Modrić and Perisić get to rest a bit, but we still train key players.

  2. ARMADA87 says:

    Rijeka really fucked themselves with this loss. Riejka were dominating play at points in the 1st half and should of easily went into HT with a goal, maybe two. After HT, Sociedad dialed up the offense and Rijeka were just trying to hang on. If Rijeka would of had that goal, they would of had more wiggle room perhaps to get some points out of the game. Rijeka absolutely need to take points off AZ next game if they even want to dream about knockouts. AZ surprisingly beat Napoli the other day, so that might be a big ask for my Rijecani.

    Same goes for DZG. They really needed full points from the games vs. Feyenoord and Wolfsberger, as I don’t see them taking points from CSKA. Everyone tied in the group for the first match day, which is good for Dinamo.

    From a coefficient perspective and with the changes coming next year by adding the UEFA Europa Conference League (modern day Intertoto Cup), we won’t have a team in the Europa League and will only have 1 UCL spot and 2 ECL spots – 3 spots in total. Ultimately, that’ll mean most likely either Rijeka, Hajduk, Osijek or Gorica (if they continue to play well) won’t make it to Europe, depending on how the HNL finishes.

    Would be nice to see if both Rijeka and Dinamo can make a run at the knockouts that way we go up in terms of coefficients and get closer to 15th place again (and have more spots in Europe, like we did last year). For this season, we only have 3 Euro spots and while Europa League is fun (and is at a level where our teams can be competitive, unlike Champions League, which we have zero business being in) this Europa Conference League is going to be watered down and boring. It’s going to be a ton of shit teams for shit leagues.

  3. Maminjo says:

    @ Doom


    We need Pasalic out there on the wing!

    Bradaric still needs to earn his stripes. Melnjak gets LB and Bradaric can come on for Brekalo in the second half.

    We also need to continue with the Lovren/Vida rule, where one of them must play at all times to ensure at least 2 goals against.

  4. Maminjo says:


    I think our HNL teams have been a lot more responsible financially than they’ve been in years past…and they’re factoring this pandemic into the equation to be safe.

    Dinamo sold some key players, and didn’t really buy much. They just brought in some juniors, and promoted some youngsters. Rijeka also sold a couple players, and took in a bunch of loanees to replace them. Even Hajduk dumped some of their junk foreigners.

    I think this year will be a wait-and-see period before any team spends any money.
    It’s a good year for them to try out some youngsters at least.

  5. ARMADA87 says:

    @ Maminjo

    Agreed. Between our ‘big 3’ teams, we actually have a lot of good talent coming through the ranks. All for playing them. Especially with Rijeka and Dinamo, let these kids play and hopefully it translates to addiitonal attention and then getting some decent money for them down the road in a transfer.

  6. Dannyj says:

    Let them develop young Croatian talent
    Screw foreigners
    I’m sure there is always a solid nuff cro kid out there to play

    If we have to have one
    Who is it vida or Lovren?
    Vida I think more will leave it out on the field but for sure Lovren is the more gifted one and can surprise with offense

  7. Dannyj says:

    Which of the two vida/Lovren combines better with caleta

  8. ARMADA87 says:


    I wouldn’t go that far to say screw all the foreigners on Rijeka, Dinamo and Hajduk. Guys like Stojanovic, Theophile and Kastrati play big roles on Dinamo. Same for Escoval and Loncar at Rijeka.

    But I get your point, the majority of our teams field mostly Croatian players. I doubt we’ll ever ge to the point of being like a Shakhtar where 80% of the team is foreigners.

  9. Maminjo says:


    The ‘kiks’ factor is much higher with Lovren than with Vida.

    However, Lovren provides at least some offensive ability, while Vida is a liability there.

    I prefer Vida for defensive purposes. He rarely makes mistakes, but this can change.

    Lovren always makes mistakes. The World Cup was an outlier where he surprisingly didn’t make any critical errors other than the penalty in the unimportant Iceland game.

    I think I’d rather have Vida with Caleta-Car than Lovren.

    But I highly doubt Lovren will be benched. Dalic likes to keep a cool locker room, and Lovren would kick and scream if he doesn’t get the start over some young CBs.
    I think Dalic gives in, and starts Lovren in the next Euros.

  10. Maminjo says:


    My foreigners comment is moreso geared toward Hajduk’s “junk foreigners” that they keep bringing over.

    They usually have to pay more for these guys, but they are all so mediocre. It’s terrible management.
    Wasting money and playing time for these guys over the cheaper, young talent they already have (and could develop, and sell for more money).

    Rijeka and Dinamo have been much better at bringing in foreign talent that actually contributes, and at a good value.

    However, overall, I do not like seeing more than 20% of the lineup as foreigners.

    This is what is killing Italian football, and they have no good young Italians anymore. Even their primavera squads are full of Croats and other foreigners, lol.

    For our National Team, it’s best to see Hajduk and the rest of the HNL teams not waste money they DON’T have on an attempt to buy foreign talent, and just focus entirely on developing their (obviously very talented) youth.

  11. Zivot says:

    “I think Dalic gives in, and starts Lovren in the next Euros.”

    Correct. (unfortunately)

  12. ARMADA87 says:

    When it comes to our CB pairing, I’d almost want to start fresh and once the U21 Euro is done and lets trot out a combo of consisting of either DCC, Gvardiol or Sutalo. It’ll be super young but fuck it, at that point, what do we have to lose.

    I get that Dalic doesn’t want to completely switch the CB pairing at this point, but come post Euro, I really don’t want Lovren or Vida starting for us anymore at CB. Guessing one or both of them might retire from international duty anyway.

  13. ARMADA87 says:

    @ Maminjo

    I get what you meant. To your point, Dinamo and Rijeka do have a better track record with foreign born players. Hajduk, for some reason, typically throw a bunch of money, usually at a over-the-hill foreigner and the foreigner doesn’t do dick for them.

  14. Maminjo says:

    The issue with making a CB pairing switch AFTER the Euro2021 is that we have World Cup qualifying starting this March.

    So, you’re gonna continue with this weak Lovren/Vida pairing for World Cup qualifying AND Euro2021…
    THEN, make the switch to a brand new CB pairing with a handful of meaningful games before the next World Cup.

    I want this new pairing to play as much as possible before that next World Cup. Not five games before. The new schedule messes this all up.

    So, I’d rather we just axe the Vida/Lovren pairing now, especially since they have been performing VERY poorly lately and they aren’t core players (like Modric and Perisic).

    Duje Caleta-Car and Pongracic are not THAT young.
    They are 24 and 23 respectively. This is their time.
    It’s a shame that we have to wait until they are 26 before we consider making them regular starters.

    Hopefully our assumptions are wrong and Dalic is slowly just working toward a backline of Bradaric, Caleta-Car, Pongracic, and Vrsaljko.

  15. Maminjo says:

    The good news is that we went from playing Jedvaj at RB and some combo of Barisic/Melnjak at LB…

    to more recently, seeing Uremovic and Bradaric get called up and play time in these two roles.

    Massive improvement in those areas.

    Hopefully for the next round we can see Toma Basic get a chance to take that backup CDM role from Badelj/Kovacic, and we can see Caleta-Car play some more.

    Hopefully Pongracic can get back okay. He needs to be given a chance. He will impress for sure. We’ll be blowing our loads when we see him on the field and actually see both CBs involved in the offense and NOT looking like fools.

  16. BZ says:

    If you grabbed a TV repair guy off the streets, and he played Bradaric out of position (at our deepest position, LW) instead of playing Bradaric at his club position (our shallowest position, LB) I’d say go back to fixing that cheap ass Onn tv some fool bought last black friday.

  17. BEĆAR says:


    Bang on. These idiotic experiments have to stop. Wasted opportunities to try out plausible scenarios from the real world. Brekalo will never be a defender, Bradaric isn’t a winger and Pasalic couldn’t hold a piss if he was 2 minutes from a washroom.

  18. Maminjo says:

    For the first time in a very long time, we have the personnel to start a very talented player at every position (except for goalkeeper).

    I don’t recall the last time we could potentially field a team without some gaping hole somewhere that we had to hide.

    We can’t be stupid, especially when it could be Modrić’s last run.

    All experimenting should be how to get the MAXIMUM out of these talented players (example: Kramarić).

  19. Dannyj says:

    What’s news with Toma basic anyways?
    How’s his season going

    I would love to see him out there

    And I agree less Stupid experiments
    Perisic at wing back I could see
    Not brekalo

    Let’s see new cb pairings but I agree dalic will bitch out

  20. Maminjo says:

    Toma Basic has been good.

    AC Milan were on the verge of completing a transfer for him, but something happened and the deadline passed without him coming over.

    He’s been on the Ligue 1 team of the week two weeks in a row. He’s looking like one of the better midfielders in the French league and will probably move to Serie A or a better league soon.

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