Results for November 16-18, 2012
GNK DINAMO 5 – 0 NK ZADAR
Dinamo struck back with a vengeance during their first meeting with Zadar since the club ejected the Croatian champions out of the national cup tournament in October.
A five-goal flurry, initiated by 18-year-old Mateo Kovačić, dazzled the roughly 3,000 fans in attendance at Maksimir.
In lieu of Ante Gotovina’s acquittal and subsequent freedom, the doors of Maksimir were open so the fans, too, could be free; free to enter the stadium at no cost and enjoy the match while honoring the generals.
There was also a moment of silence prior to kickoff honoring Vukovar and those who fell on November 18, 1991.
The match started with a strong sense of pride and patriotism in the air. Dinamo used it to their advantage and it took less than five minutes for them to assert their dominance over their opponents.
Fatos Beqiraj wasted no time and brought the ball into the box and sent a weak cross into the center that was poorly cleared away by the Zadar defense. Kovačić stood unmarked at the top of the box and hit a stunning volley that took one hop on the field and sailed into the goal.
The youngster’s impressive goal was just the beginning for Dinamo. Wunderboy, Alen Halilović, got his first start for the club on Saturday. The 16-year-old already has one goal under his belt in his short professional career, but doubled his total in the 38th minute against Zadar.
Kovačić was once again involved in a scoring play when he placed a flawless pass in Halilović’s path. Halilović struck the ball on his first touch from 20 yards out and sent a magnificent shot into the goal.
Zadar had flashes of life throughout the match, their biggest coming at the start of the second half. Josip Ivančić thought he timed his run perfectly when he received a a pass from teammate Ivan Anton Vasilj. The ball was sent in low and right to his feet from the left side and Ivančić easily beat Ivan Kelava for the goal, but it was ruled offsides. Replays show that the call was close and could have gone either way.
The goals kept coming for Dinamo when Beqiraj scored in the 70th minute from a an impressive cross from Josip Pivarić. Beqiraj’s header floated just over the keeper and landed in the goal.
Just two minutes later, Pivarić scored a goal of his own to go up by four, and Ivan Krstanović scored several more minutes later to solidify a 5-0 win.
Youth was the name of the game for the Modri on Saturday. Sammir stood on the field as the oldest member of the team’s starting 11 at the ripe age of 25. Two of the five goals were scored by players under the age of 19, and two more were scored by players aged 23 and 24. It wasn’t until the veteran Krstanović came on and score that there was a player old enough to remember November of 1991.
A noticeable absence from the team was veteran Josip Šimunić. Šimunić was left off the squad do to yellow card accumulation.
Dinamo must now travel to Portugal where they enter their fourth Champions League match of the season against FC Porto. Porto defeated Dinamo 2-0 at Maksimir, and now the boys are looking for their first points heading into the return leg.
Dinamo: Kelava – Vrsaljko, Vida, Puljic Pivarić – Ademi (since 77 Brozovic), Kovačić – Cop (since 77 Alispahic), Sammir, Halilović (from 58th Krstanović) – Beqiraj
Zadar: Gluić – Saric, Jerbić, Prahić, Dyer – Šimurina, Ćurjurić (of 57 Banovic) Tokic Grzan (from 79 Ikić) Heister (from 60th Perica) – Ivančić
HNK HAJDUK SPLIT 0 – 0 NK LOKOMOTIVA
A blanket of Croatian flags covered the audience of 10,000 at Poljud on Saturday, but even that was still hard to notice past the 50-odd-yard banner lining the north stands that read HRVATSKI HEROJI.
Just as in Zagreb, Split was overwhelmed with patriotic spirit and pride. National songs were sung throughout the match and flags waved relentlessly as the players fought for three points.
Fans also entered Poljud without the obligation of paying, and enjoyed the match for free.
The match may have been tough to enjoy for some as Hajduk was unable to overcome their opponent, and the game ended deadlocked at zero.
Hajduk controlled the first half, out passing and out shooting the Lokosi. Keeper Dominik Picak was called upon early on to make what proved to be a game-saving save. Ante Vuković headed a point-blank effort on net, but Picak stayed strong in the net, and denied the all-star striker the goal.
The remainder of the first half consisted of both teams missing key chances. Several near-goals for both sides occurred, but neither team could pull ahead.
Franko Andrijašević had a fine opportunity to put Hajduk in the lead, seemed to panic and headed the ball into the keeper’s arms.
Lokomotiva’s Andrej Kramarić nearly won the match for the Zagreb side, but Goran Blažević made a huge save to keep the score level. Hajduk’s defense was able to clear the rebound, preventing a second chance for the Lokosi.
Both keepers deserve a lot of credit in keeping their teams alive.
The fans at Poljud began to get frustrated with their team’s performance. After an impressive display of pyrotechnics, the fans began to whistle and jeer their own players, more particularly, midfielder Mijo Caktaš.
“Message to the fans; eat my shit,” were the words uttered by the midfielder to reporters as he walked through the tunnel after the game.
Hajduk coach Miso Krstičević defended the fan’s actions and said Caktaš will be punished.
“This club is based on the love of his fans, and no one has the right so to treat them poorly,” Krsičević said.
Caktaš later apologized and admitted he was wrong and it wasn’t a group of fans, but a few individuals that don’t represent the team’s supporters.
“I can say that today we have missed three clear chances and we did not play well, that’s obvious. We were not at the level of past matches, but I hope that this is a passing phase, in which we show the real face,” Krstičević said after the game.
Hajduk remain in second place with the draw, 10 points out of first place, and one point a head of third.
Hajduk: Blažević; Oremuš, Maloča, Milović, Stojanović; Susic (od 75. Lustica), Radošević, Andrijašević, Caktaš; Vuković (od 23. Kiš), Bencun (od 58. Lima).
Lokomotiva: Picak; Samateh, Barbarić, Mesarić, Bručić; Maleš; Antolić, Trebotić, Pavičić (od 61. Boras), Zakarić (od 68. Šitum); Kramarić (od 90. Tomšić).
HNK RIJEKA 3 – 1 NK OSIJEK
On a water soaked field that was not fit for even a schoolyard pick-up game, Rijeka defeated Osijek and took over third place in the league standings.
The game moved much slower than usual. The ball floated on the grass, rather than roll on it, creating a heavy burden for the players who attempted to kick it down field.
The stark white jerseys of Rijeka did not stay white for long, but turned into a murky brown and looked they would be on a TV commercial for OxiClean.
The clearly visible pools of water all over the field made for a comical attempt at playing soccer on. Many players would try to pass the ball to a teammate, only for it to stop on a dime and go nowhere.
That didn’t stop 2,500 fans from coming out to support their team. And their team did not disappoint.
Josip Brezovec scored in the 13th minute when he received a bouncing ball in the penalty area and shot it on goal. The ball barely rolled in through the mud on the goal line.
Danijel Cesarec scored his first goal of the night soon after. Cesarec leaped into the air and puts a strong header past Ivan Vargić.
Osijek attempted to mount a comeback. Matias Zubak sent in a strong header of his own to score a fine goal to cut the deficit in half.
Both teams continued to fight it out in the tough conditions, but went into the break with no more changes in the score.
The conditions of the field worsened, but Rijeka was able to manage an insurance goal late in the game.
Cesarec stepped up for a free kick late in the game just outside the box and whipped in a curler that Vargić was unable to handle.
This is the team that we expected to see this year. Despite their rough start this season, they have climbed up the league ladder and are in great form. Rijeka was awarded three very hard earned points that put them a point behind Hajduk.
Rijeka: Lisjak – Mierzejewski, Datković, Knežević, Neretljak – Mujanović, Kreilach, Brezovec, Gabrić (od 59′ Weitzer) – Čuina (od 20′ Mutombo), Cesarec
Osijek: Vargić – Vrgoč, Smoje, Novaković, Aleksić – Kurtović – Kvržić, Lešković, Mišić – Miličević, Zubak
NK SLAVEN BELUPO 1 – 0 NK ZAGREB
Ćiro Blažević made a trip to Koprivnica on Saturday in hopes of gaining his first points with his new club, NK Zagreb. Thought his boys fought hard and played tough, they fell to a much stronger Slaven Belupo.
Despite the cold, over 1,000 came out to see their team in action and catch a glimpse of Croatia’s greatest coach. The home crowd gave the away coach a standing ovation when he finally got off the bench on the sideline during the first half.
Slaven coach Roy Ferenčina was came prepared to play against NKZ. He knew their game plan would be focused on a strong defense and counter attacks.
“Zagreb will close and defend, counter attack and wait for opportunities. I’m Not expecting that we will be able to give viewers some nice play in this situation. There will be many players in a small area,” Ferenčina said before the match. “We’re not playing Ciro either, but 11 against 11. I believe our advantage is our home field.”
Ciro made another bold statement this week regarding his team. Last week, he promised to achieve three points. Zagreb was unable to achieve his goal, but this did not discourage Ćiro. This week, he claims his goalkeeper, Dominik Livaković, is the best keeper in the league.
Livaković stood tall from the start of the game. What the Zagreb defense could not handle, Livaković was there to clean it up.
Zagreb’s offense was also keeping up some threatening possession. Several chances from the Poets led to some near-goals.
Fortunately for the home side, those chances were not good enough to beat their defense or their keeper.
Midfielder Dario Čanadija had the only shot of the game that counted. A ball that Livaković was unable to handle made its way into the net for the eventual win.
This was a important win for Slaven. They have been slipping as of late, losing against Zadar last week, and drawing in the previous week, a win kept them in third place in the league, one point behind Hajduk.
“Slaven deserved to win, but it could have been different if we were a little more concentrated…They fought till the last minute, they showed the desire to win, that I have absolutely no objection,” Blažević said after the match.
Blažević also praised Ferenčina, stating he deserves a promotion to a bigger club.
“He’s been put in the shop window, I think he will experience a coaching promotion, and whether it will be Dinamo, I do not know. I personally would not advise him to go there while Zdravko Mamić is in charge,” Blažević said.
Slaven Belupo: Rodić, Purić, Kokalović, Grgić, Maras, Gregurina, Čanađija (od 85. Bubnjić), Geng (od 71. Brlek), Glavica, Delić, Bušić (od 56. Šaban).
Zagreb: Livaković, Djengoun, Nadarević, Pavlović, Jurendić (od 15. Barišić), Šovšić, Handžić, Štrok (od 63. Vojtuš), Becab, Abdurahimi, Medić
HNK CIBALIA 2 – 1 RNK SPLIT
The upset of the week occurred on Saturday in Vinkovci. Struggling Cibalia mustered up just enough to take care of a tough RNK Split.
The result is not what was expected, especially after the first five minutes of the game.
A poor clearance from in front of the Cibalia net was kicked straight to Henri Belle, who gave the ball to Ivan Baraban who slotted the ball into the net.
Cibalia fought back quickly with several offensive rushes. One of which led to a game changing moment, benefiting the home team.
Mladen Bartolović entered the penalty area, ready to score when Tomislav Glumac took out the attacker. Glumac was immediately shown a red card and sent off and Cibalia was awarded a penalty that Tomislav Mazalović scored his third goal of the season.
Cibalia went into the break with confidence and momentum on their side. They had the numerical advantage and soon made the best of it.
In the 55th minute, Petar Filipović made a great individual effort to get in front of the goal and put his team in the lead. RNK could not handle their opponents with only 10 men. Cibalia achieved three crucial points, bringing them one step closer to escaping the relegation zone.
Coach Ante Vulić of Split stated prior to the match that playing Cibalia will be tougher than playing Dinamo.
“Playing against Cibalia will be more difficult than facing Dinamo. It is always difficult to play against teams that are at the bottom of the rankings than against those from the top,” Vulić said.
Cibalia: Matković, Mišić (od 82. Terzić), Muženjak, Pavličić (od 87. Tokić), Bartolović (od 89. Čulić), Župarić, Mitrović, Filipović, Vitaić, Rugašević, Mazalović.
Split: Vuković, Marčić, Glumac, Galović, Hrgović, Pehar (od 59. Bagarić), Radotić (od 81. Paracki), Kvesić, Rebić, Belle, Baraban (od 19. Radeljić)
NK INTER ZAPREŠIĆ 2 – 0 NK ISTRA 1961
Inter has been in their best form of the season. Earning points in four of the last five matches, they have shot out from 11th place to the safety of eighth place in the matter of weeks.
Led by the scoring powers of Ante Budimir, Mirko Kramarić, and and Tomislav Sarić, Inter’s offense has come to life and it turning them into a formidable team.
Istra experienced that first-hand on Friday during their visit to Zaprešić. Not only id Inter’s offense take care of the scoring, but their defense shut down a powerful Istra attack.
Inter led off the scoring in the 18th minute. Sarić sent the ball to Mislav Oršić and then sent a quick pass to Kramarić who finished the play with a goal.
The half ended with the Keramičari in the lead. By the end of the second half, Inter doubled the score to make it 2-0, and sent Igor Pamić and Istra home packing.
Inter: Santini, Plazanić, Herceg, Bagarić, Čeliković, Milardović, Mlinar (od 89. Blažević), Šarić, Oršić (od 73. Vujčić, Kramarić, Budimir (od 80. Jurić).
Istra 1961: Prskalo, Sušić, Zgrablić, Budicin, Milić, Anđelković (od 77. Bačelić-Grgić), Blagojević (od 73. Prelčec), Aganović (od 84. Prgomet), Pamić, Roce, Križman.