HNK Rijeka are making an impressive run for their third Croatian Cup since the competition started in 1992.
The club paid a visit to Maksimir stadium today to take on Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of the Croatian Cup finals and came out with a stunning 1-0 win.
The goal came from former Dinamo player, Ivan Tomečak, in the 40th minute of the match.
Tomečak’s goal was all that was needed for Rijeka, as their defense took care of the rest, and shut out Dinamo. This was Dinamo’s first time being shut out since their 2-0 loss to Paris St. Germain On Nov. 7.
Rijeka was able to bunker down despite first going down to 10 men in the 85th minute after Domir Zlomišlić was shown a straight card, and then going down to nine players when Marin Leovac was sent off after seeing two yellow cards in the 90th minute.
Rijeka surely could give credit to their fans that traveled to Zagreb with them and took over Maksimir Stadium. Several reports give varying accounts of stadium attendance, ranging from 6,000 – 10,000 spectators, but it cannot be denied that nearly 5,000 members of Armada were there to back the Rijeka club.
Rijeka was not the only adversary that was able to silence Dinamo today. There was also a heavy police presence that kept the BBB, or what is left of the BBB, at bay. Many members of the group, including nearly 1,000 that are banned, were either turned away at the gates of Maksimir, or refused to enter the stadium due to the increased security.
Those who did enter the stadium were greeted by a wall of police officers that surrounded the group that calmly watched the match.
The two clubs will meet again for the return leg in Rijeka on May 13.
If Rijeka can hold their lead, they will be the first club other than Dinamo or Hajduk to win the Croatian Cup since 2006. Rijeka just so happen to also be the last club other than Dinamo or Hajduk to win the Cup.