HNL Round 15 Recap: Rijeka Gives Dinamo First Loss of Season, Hajduk Sacks Vulić

Daniela Rogulj

The 15th round of the Croatian First League was played from November 23 to 25, 2018, which included the highly anticipated derby between Rijeka and Dinamo. 

The Croatian First League returned over the weekend after an international break, which saw Croatia relegated to ‘League B’ of Nations League after their loss to England at Wembley. It was an exciting return which featured the highly anticipated derby between Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb and Rijeka, who gave Dinamo their first loss of the season. 

In other news, Hajduk’s season of struggle continued after their draw to Slaven Belupo, which forced the sacking of coach Zoran Vulić on Tuesday. 

Without further ado, here’s our recap of the Croatian First League’s 15th round. 

Rudeš v. Inter Zaprešić (0:1)

Rudeš and Inter opened the 15th round at Kranjčevićeva street stadium on November 23, 2018. 

In front of 200 spectators, the first half went without goals. It wasn’t until the 65th minute that Inter was able to take the lead with a goal by Andrić for 0:1. Rudeš was unable to equalize.

Rudeš remains in the last place with 2 points, while Inter is in 8th with 14. 

Rijeka v. Dinamo (1:0)

Rijeka and Dinamo met for the derby of the 15th round on November 24, 2018. 

In front of over 4,600 spectators at Rujevica, Rijeka knew this was their opportunity to shock the Croatian champions – and they did. Though the first half was scoreless, Čolak was the hero for Rijeka with a goal in the 64th minute. Though Dinamo had opportunities, they were unable to equalize, and thus suffered their first loss of the season.

Rijeka has moved up to 4th place with 27 points, while Dinamo remains in first with 36. 

Gorica v. Istra 1961 (0:2)

Gorica and Istra met in Velika Gorica on November 24, 2018. 

In front of over 1,500 fans at Gorica’s stadium, the first half went without goals, though the second half proved to be more exciting. Quickly into the start of the second half, Rodriguez scored for Istra for 0:1, and Regan sealed the victory for the visiting team in the 93rd minute for 0:2.

Gorica is currently in 5th place with 26 points, while Istra is in 9th with 12. 

Hajduk v. Slaven Belupo (2:2)

Hajduk and Belupo met on November 25, 2018, in front of an empty Poljud stadium as Hajduk continues to serve their penalty from HNS. 

Belupo was first to take the lead with a goal by Mateus in the 31st minute, though Hajduk’s Said equalized before halftime with a goal in the 44th for 1:1. 

Belupo retook the lead in the 65th minute thanks to Bogojević, but less than 10 minutes later, Jairo made it 2:2 with a goal in the 74th minute. The game ended 2:2, which was not enough to save Hajduk coach Zoran Vulić. The Hajduk coach was sacked after just a few months back on the bench.

Hajduk is currently in 6th place with 17 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 14. 

Lokomotiva v. Osijek (2:2)

Lokomotiva and Osijek met for the final match of the 15th round at Kranjčevićeva street stadium on November 25, 2018. 

Osijek was the first to take the lead from an own goal by Krstanović for 0:1, though Uzuni equalized in the 45th minute for 1:1. 

Lokomotiva was quick to take the lead in the second half with a goal by Lecjaks in the 48th minute, but Skorić came back for Osijek in the 60th for 2:2.

Lokomotiva is currently in 2nd place with 29 points, while Osijek is in 3rd with 28. 

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