Only one match was played this weekend, which ended in a historic upset featuring Hajduk Split and Slaven Belupo.
Slaven was up against a tough task: Facing Hajduk at Poljud, a venue never conquered by the small club from Koprivnica.
Since 1997, Slaven Belupo has defeated Hajduk Split in seven meetings of the 81 times the two sides face faced each other in all competitions. All seven of those victories have been in Koprivnica, with the most recent coming in December of 2016. Slaven has been held without a win at Poljud for 31 matches.
Odds were stacked against them, especially after the performance Hajduk displayed last week in their victory of Dinamo Zagreb.
Slaven is now, however, under the leadership of Tomislav Ivkovic, the man who presented NK Lokomotiva as debutantes of European competitions only a few years ago. The goal seems to be the same at this new club.
Slaven began the match well, with pressure tactics that nearly led to a goal in the ninth minute, only to go wide of the goal. But Hajduk controlled the bulk of the match, dominating with nearly 70 percent of the possession, 11 corner kicks, ad eight shots on target, all stopped by Antun Markovic.
Mateas Delic, who only made his third appearance of the season for Slaven scored his first goal of the season in the 71st minute. The goal game off a fierce half-volley that left Karlo Letica with no chance of a save.
Hajduk’s Franck Ohandza was sent off with a red card in the seconds after the goal after a poor tackle, forcing Hajduk to fight for a comeback while short handed.
The comeback never came to fruition. Slaven walked away with their eighth victory over Hajduk since 1997 and first-ever at Poljud stadium.
“There was no weakness in our team,” Ivkovic said after the match. “Everyone gave their contribution. They fought until the end o game and so I’m happy for this success. They showed that they struggle for the colors of their club.”
Dinamo Zagreb and HNK Rijeka were scheduled to face off on Sunday evening at Rujevica, but poor weather conditions forced the match to be postponed. The game will be played on Wednesday, March 7. Kick off is scheduled for 5 pm local time.
NK Lokomotica and NK Osijek are scheduled to play on Tuesday and 3 pm local time at Kranjceviceva. NK Inter Zapresic and NK Istra 1961 are scheduled to play on Wednesday, March 7 at 3 pm local time.