Finally, HNL football is back in our lives!
Reigning champions Dinamo Zagreb kicked their season off with a 3-2 comeback victory over crosstown rivals Lokomotiva Zagreb at Maksimir. By the 22nd minute, the hosts already found themselves 2-0 down but were instantly saved by first-half substitute Josip Drmić. Drmić, in his first ever league match for Dinamo, scored twice within 10 minutes after entering the pitch for the struggling Petar Bočkaj. The score remained level until Luka Menalo found the back of the net in the 91st minute, sealing all three points for Dinamo.
Hajduk Split began their season with a solid 2-0 victory over Istra at Aldo Drosina. Dario Melnjak picked up right where he left off a few months ago, scoring the club’s first goal of the season in the 43rd minute. Marko Livaja’s 60th minute finish doubled Hajduk’s lead, with Stipe Biuk collecting his first assist of the season. Hajduk held strong in the back and came away with all three points and a clean sheet.
Dion Drena Beljo couldn’t have asked for a better start to his 2022-23 campaign. After a terrific loan spell with Istra last season, Nenad Bjelica and Osijek welcomed Beljo back with open arms – and the 20 year-old striker delivered. Beljo scored a second half brace within only 12 minutes in Osijek’s 2-1 victory over Gorica at Gradski Vrt. He opened the scoreline with a magical rising shot from outside the box, and sealed the victory with a clutch penalty conversion in crunch time.
The HNL Week 1 scoreboard also saw Rijeka beat Šibenik 1-0 thanks to a second-half effort from Jorge Obregon, and Slaven Belupo escape newly promoted Varaždin by the same score.
Livakovic man, we can’t keep having these déjà-vu’s
Shouldnt even get a call-up next round of games
Livakovic is a liability.
Dinamo is starting CL qualifiers today vs Shkupi. Live now on HRT2
Beljo is left footed. His first goal was from outside the box and the goalkeeper got a hand to it and and in reality should have stopped it. His second was from the penalty spot and was well taken. I have not see enough of him to make a judgement but he is tall and does have a good left foot on him. For our U21 against Estonia recently, he came off the bench and missed a couple of sitters with his right foot. At the time I did not realise that he was left footed and was not impressed with his finishing. He is only 20 and from what I have seen he is technically better than Mandzo but nowhere as good in the air.
I think that Drmic will end up as the leading goalscorer. He came off the bench in the 23 min against Lokomotiva and looked impressive.
How’s Beljo’s technical ability with the ball? abd his finishing in front of goal?
Similar to Mandžo in both areas I assume?
He’s better than Mandzo technically, more similar to Ibra in that domain. His finishing is very good (as we’ve seen with Istra) but it’s too early to compare it to Mandzo who’s done it on the biggest stages, so I’m really not sure there.
Feel free to challenge this, but I genuinely believe that the MVP race will fall between Beljo and Livaja by the end of the season.
Beljo is an unbelievable talent who made a fantastic career choice by staying in the HNL – and he probably will do so for another season after this one. Due to his unreal height and athleticism, he is bound to find success under Bjelica now that he has a very good squad around him. We saw what he could do with a poor team in Istra last season.
He’s gonna be a goal machine this season. Let’s hope he stays healthy. He might just end up giving Simic a run for his money as our “top young striker” come next Spring.
well lets hope Beljo gets support because Mierez went from scoring 22 goals in 2021 and last season he scored 3?! If you watched Bjelica’s comments last season, he twice said that Osijek plays the ugliest brand of soccer so I do hope Beljo doesn’t suffer. I like some of Osijek’s players but they really do suffer from “small team syndrome” at times…losing points when they really shouldn’t!
I also think Livaja will be a goal scoring leader, I’m hoping Beljo can make a name for himself and I’d like to see Drmic challenge Livaja!
That is a great point. They do play a very ugly brand of footy. Maybe Beljo’s unusual size and length will enhance that, similar to how Mandzo used to find dirty, scrappy goals in the box. Only time will tell!
As for Livaja vs Drmic, I think the only reason why Livaja will outscore him is because he is Hajduk’s sole goalscorer. Drmic, on the other hand, will have his fair share of goals alongside Orsic, Ivanusec, Ademi, and even Petkovic could have a legit season. I’d consider Kalinic well below the levels of these Dinamo players, hence why Livaja will score most of his teams goals.
Livaja will score most of his team’s goals because he takes all of their penalties. And he’s good at it.
Yes I agree, Livaja is the one true goal scorer but I’m not sure Hajduk can go through another season leaning on the shoulders of Livaja. Someone like Mlakar, Biuk and Sahiti have to step up and contribute, it’s tough carrying your squad on your shoulders and it’s not always easy to be firing on all cylinders. If Hajduk are going to challenge in Europe and in the League, Livaja will need help!
Osijek doesn’t take too many offensive chances, that’s why their considered “not stylish” in their attack and they’re usually not sending as many players.
Welcome back old friend! Good to have you back on the site 🙂