Hajduk and Rijeka drew 1-1 in the Adriatic Derby today at Poljud.
The atmosphere was loud and the bura wind was blowing today at Poljud stadium. Fans from both teams (15,000 of them) anxiously awaited the famous Adriatic derby, and this match did not disappoint.
Third place Hajduk came out aggressively against first placed Rijeka, with chances for both teams in the first 30 minutes. But in the 31st minute, the stadium had reason to cheer as Hajduk’s Hamza Barry found the back of the net, bringing Hajduk in the lead with 1-0.
The high intensity remained throughout the rest of the match, with Hajduk pressing Rijeka’s defense and shutting down Rijeka’s top player Franko Andrijašević.
In the 56th minute and to no one’s surprise, the game came to a halt as Torcida lit the sky (and field) with flares. The match proceeded in the 60th minute.
Hajduk held the lead until the 81st minute when the referee called a somewhat questionable penalty for Rijeka. Roman Bezjak scored for Rijeka to equalize (1-1).
The 90th minute announced 6 minutes of added time and an unexpected pitch intruder who was chased by security guards. After encouraging even more loud cheer from Torcida, the intruder surrendered to police after a few minutes. While we all worried the concentration would be lost in these last crucial minutes, we definitely had a laugh. But really, how did the intruder make it onto the pitch? More details on this as they come in.
After a last few attempts and a shot that went just too wide by Ohandza, the final whistle blew in the 97th minute and Hajduk and Rijeka settled for a draw.
“It was a heavy match and was a derby with a lot of duels and aggressive play. In the end the result is realistic. In some moments we were not good, but we showed great desire to reverse the result. Hajduk was aggressive as was expected,” said the coach of Rijeka, Matjaz Kek.
Joan Carillo, the coach of Hajduk, was satisfied with his players but was not so satisfied with the result.
“I am proud, we played vigorously and with great desire, and up until the last attempt by Ohandza we wanted to win. We showed a desire to win. We attacked and created opportunities. I am satisfied with my team but I am not satisfied with the result and receiving one point,” said Carillo.
But should it have been a penalty for Rijeka?
“I think it was a penalty. But I was too far away to assess,” said Rijeka’s coach. “I do not know,” said Hajduk’s Carillo, “the referees are professionals and I want to believe they made the right call.”
You can decide for yourself below.