Drama in Pula After Questionable Call Helps Inter Win: “This is not a coincidence!”

Daniela Rogulj

“I received many messages from people in the football world saying how cheated we were,” the Istria 1961 coach said after the game. 

Scandal marked yesterday’s match between Istra 1961 and Inter Zaprešić after the last minutes of the game dropped Istria from a draw to a 2:4 defeat. The first official, Tihomir Pejin, called a questionable penalty for Zaprešić in the 90th minute, throwing Istria players into a frenzy. The outcome even forced individuals from Istria’s staff to threaten the referee in front of the cameras, reports Goal.hr on April 28, 2018. 

With two minutes left in the game at a 2:2 draw Inter scored for 4:2 – one from the controversial penalty and one from a counter attack. Though the Istria side and their fans fiercely protested the Inter penalty and the shooter’s (Andrić) celebration, Istria goalkeeper (Iveša) had the loudest reaction of all. 


Istria coach Darko Raić-Sudar criticized the referee’s decisions after the match and admitted that his players were in shock. 

“We managed to resolve the game in the first half. We took the lead early, and even though Inter came back, we returned to the game. There were many unclear situations in the game, and I got many messages from a lot of people in the football world saying that we were cheated,“ the Istria coach said after the game, and continued:

“I do not think this happens by accident in some of our games. This is a shock to us; the players are weeping. But now we have to find the strength to react in the last four rounds,” Raić-Sudar concluded while Inter coach Samir Toplak did not want to comment on the controversial calls, but only that he wanted Istria to recover as soon as possible.


Istria thus far as 25 points in the Croatian First League, which is one point ahead of Cibalia and two below Rudeš. In the last four rounds, Istria will play both direct rivals: in the next round they face Cibalia, and at the very end, in a crucial match that will make or break them, Istria will face Rudeš. 

Cibalia and Istria are fighting against relegation from the Croatian First League, making the referee’s controversial decisions that much harder to swallow. 

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