Dinamo Zagreb’s Duje Čop scored the lone goal of the match against RNK Split in the 45th minute to ensure his team remained on top of the league table in this young season.
Čop’s sixth goal of the season was an impressive shot from 20 yards out. Josip Šimunić started the attack and sent the ball in the middle of the field where Čop wound up and curled the ball under the crossbar for the game’s only goal.
Both clubs are preparing themselves for their next match in the Europa League, and the coaches were concerned about the fatigue of players brought on by such a busy schedule.
“This rhythm is obviously taking a toll on the players, we have to understand, but we struggled last season. In Europe we have surprised many and has given us these extra duties and matches,” Split coach Ivan Marić said.
Some of Dinamo’s youngest players remained on the bench on Friday as well due to illnesses. Marcelo Brozović was benched with a fever while Jozo Šimunović had “some problems” and missed out on the match.
HNK Hajduk Split put on a goal-scoring clinic against NK Zadar on Saturday, beating them 6-0. This marks the second match in a row where Hajduk has scored five or more goals in one match.
Mijo Caktaš got the party started with a penalty in the 12th minute to make it 1-0. Only a few minutes later, Ante Maglica scored his first of two goals of the match, which was quickly followed by Jean Kouassi scoring his first of two goals as well.
The 22-year-old newcomer, Sando Gotal scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 5-0 for the Bili. Gotal has been crucial asset in Hajduk’s attack since he joined the club. The Austrian has scored in four of the five matches he has played this season.
Hajduk have seemed to put their slow start to the season behind them and have climbed up the ladder to their current position of third place on the table.
HNK Rijeka remain undefeated in the season after shutting out NK Slaven Belupo at Kantrida this weekend.
Ivan Tomečak scored the first goal in the sixth minute of the match. Andrej Kramarić had yet another multi-goal game, scoring his first goal of the evening in the ninth minute.
Kramarić put his team up by three goals in the 35th minute with his ninth goal of the season. Kramarić leads the league in goals so far, scoring nine goals in five matches. Is that enough for Niko Kovač to take notice?
Rumors out of China report that former Rijeka superstar, Leon Benko, is not receiving his proper paycheck that was promised to him by his new club, Dalian Aerbin. This could lead to a possible move back to Croatia for the striker. Benko has only one goal since transferring to the Chinese club.
Another rumor creating news is that Rijeka coach, Matjaž Kek has been offered positions at other clubs. The Rijeka coach reportedly denied the offers, stating he “wants to remain at Rijeka forever.”
NK Istra got their first win of the season yesterday against a struggling NK Lokomotiva side.
Ante Rukavina put the Lokosi in the lead in the 14th minute, but Istra players scored three goals in the span of six minutes to put their team ahead 3-1.
Dejan Radonjić scored in the 51st minute, tying the match at 1-1, but 20-year-old Dino Špehar scored only five minutes later to make it 2-1 for Istra.
Radonjić score again seconds later to make the score 3-1 en route to their first victory of the season.
Dejan Čabraja scored for the Lokosi late in the game in efforts to mount a comeback, but the mountain was too high to climb, and Lokomotiva must spend the next week in last place.
“I’m very happy for the guys who really wanted to win,” Istra coach, Igor Pamić said. “Last week we conceded a goal due to carelessness. However, we have not fallen.
NK Osijek also fought hard for their first win of the season this weekend when they faced NK Zagreb in Zagreb.
Osijek struck first with a goal from Matej Jonjić in the 16th minute. Jonjić beat out four Zagreb defenders during a corner kick and headed the ball into the net.
But their lead was short lived as Zagreb tied the match with a penalty shot from Josip Jurendić.
Jonjić was the hero of the game for the second time when he scored the late game-winner in the 87th minute.