HNK Rijeka enacted a bit of revenge on NK Lokomotiva on Saturday by lifting the Croatia Cup as champions for the sixth time.
Lokomotiva was a thorn in Rijeka’s side all season, garnering two draws and a win over Rijeka in their efforts to clinch second place, but Rijkea were able to turn the tables and defeat Lokomotiva for the first time in five meetings.
Tibor Halilović scored the match’s only goal in the 76th minute to give Rijeka the 1-0 lead that it would hold until the final whistle.
The trophy did not come easy for Rijeka. Lokomotiva looked dangerous throughout the match, creating chances and striking the post twice.
Rijeka’s Franko Andrijašević was a casualty to the action and was transferred to a Šibenik hospital after suffering a head injury. He was later declared to have a mild concussion and returned to join his teammates.
While trophies were being awarded, a different kind of glory was also being fought for at the former residence of Rijeka.
Stadion Kantrida hosted NK Orijent and NK Istra 1961 in the promotion/relegation playoff match. Kantrida will be home to Orijent in the event they are promoted to the prva liga.
However that seems unlikely after NK Istra defeated the second-division side 3-0. Šime Gržan scored twice, opening the scoring in the eighth minute and again in the second half against a 10-men Orijent after Benjamin Ivančević was sent off in the 23rd minute.
The 90th minute saw red cards issued to each team, creating a 9 vs. 10 situation which played to the advantage of Istra who scored a third goal in the 94th minute.
The second leg of the match will take place in Pula on Wednesday.