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.