Written By: Andrew R.
Hajduk Split vs. Slaven (3-0)
Hajduk comfortably kept their 3-game winning streak alive in a 3-0 win over Slaven Sunday evening. Hajduk’s goals came from last season’s leading goal scorer, Marko Livaja, and Hajduk newcomer, Leon Dajaku. Dajaku’s arrival at Poljud was controversial after he failed to find his footing at Sunderland. Hopefully with his first goal for Hajduk, he can regain his confidence. As for Slaven, they continue to face major defensive issues. Slaven have given up 13 goals in the four games they have played so far. Antun Marković did have a penalty save today which was a bright spot of Slaven’s less than impressive day. As Hajduk see other teams in the HNL having to postpone their games — Dinamo, Rijeka, Gorica — they continue to surge up the table, establishing themselves early as the team to beat thus far in the HNL season.
Istra vs. Osijek (4-4)
While Osijek are the highest scoring team in the league so far, averaging 4.6 goals per game, defensively they have been less than impressive. Despite having a 4-2 lead going into the 80th minute of the game, Osijek only managed to earn a 4-4 result versus Istra on Sunday. Many of the Osijek faithful have been inspired so far with the Slavonski side…until this week. Including Europe, Osijek have given up nine goals in their last two matches. Osijek have conceded 13 goals so far in all competitions and after giving up nine of those in one week, many questions will be asked. With Barišić being rumored to be heading out the door, many are left to wonder about Osijek’s defensive stability for the upcoming season. As for Istra after a tough start to the season, Sunday’s comeback is a sign of hope of resilience for the Istrian side. If they can rack up the goals like they did against Osijek, last season’s form is still possible.
Varaždin vs. Rudeš (2-0)
After falling short in the last two games, Varaždin got their first win of the season against Rudeš. Robert Prosinečki’s side remain the only team in the league without a win to their name. Fran Brodić continues his brilliant run of form scoring his fifth goal of the season. Igor Postonojski scored a brilliant goal to add to the tally for Varaždin. Today’s win keeps Varaždin in the list of HNL teams who have not lost yet. This list includes Osijek, Hajduk and Gorica as well. If Varaždin can keep turning draws into wins, they could be on track for a very promising season. Rudeš however could be in for a long season if they don’t slowly start getting points out of games.