HNL Round 16 Recap: Dinamo and Hajduk at Top, Osijek and Rijeka Draw

Daniela Rogulj

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HNK Hajduk Split

The sixteenth round of the Croatian First League was held from Friday, November 17, 2017, to Sunday, November 19, 2017.

After a two week break for national team duties, the Croatian First League returned this weekend to kickoff the sixteenth round.

This round saw some changes in the top of the table, Dinamo continuing to pull out wins, and the debut of a few new coaches. 

Without saying much more, here is our round 16 recap from November 17 to 19, 2017.

Rudeš v. Slaven Belupo (1:2)

Rudeš and Belupo kicked off the sixteenth round on Friday, November 17, 2017, at Stadion Kranjčevićeva in Zagreb.

With new coach Tomislav Ivković on the bench for Slaven Belupo, the Koprivnica side managed their fourth win of the season. 

It all began in the 42nd minute of the first half when an unlucky own goal by Mesarić brought Belupo to a 0:1 lead at the half. 

The second half started with a rather quick goal by Rudeš’ Budimir to equalize in the 47th minute, but Belupo came back minutes later with a goal by Ivanovski in the 53rd. The final score was 1:2 for Slaven Belupo.

Rudeš is currently in the last place with 11 points, while Slaven Belupo is in seventh with 17. 

Osijek v. Cibalia (1:1)

Osijek and Cibalia met for the “Slavonian Derby” of the sixteenth round on Saturday, November 18, 2017, at City Garden Stadium in Osijek.

While Osijek was the much stronger team in the first half, forcing Cibalia’s keeper Zvonimir Šubarić to make more than a few saves, the game went without a goal at the half. 

In the first minute of the second half, Osijek’s Borna Barišić missed a penalty. Osijek did not find the back of the net until the 74th minute when Marić scored, bringing the home team in the lead with 1:0. 

Just one minute later, Cibalia’s Kordić equalized. The game ended 1:1.

Osijek is currently in third place with 28 points while Cibalia is in 8th place with 14. 

Rijeka v. Inter Zaprešić (0:0)

Rijeka and Inter met for the third match of the sixteenth round on Saturday, November 18, 2017, at Rujevica. 

After four consecutive defeats and the feeling of a win missing since September, it has not been an easy few months for the Croatian champions, Rijeka. 

While we can be sure that Matjaz Kek’s days are numbered for Rijeka, we have to give credit to Inter and coach Toplak for holding their own to secure a crucial point. 

The game ended a scoreless 0:0, giving both teams one point to take home.

Rijeka is currently in fourth place with 26 points while Inter is in fifth place with 22. 

Dinamo v. Lokomotiva (2:0) 

Dinamo and Lokomotiva met on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at Maksimir Stadium.

The first place team in the Croatian First League, Dinamo has further increased their lead in the standings after securing another win this weekend.

A goal by Fiolić in the 18th minute gave Dinamo a 1:0 lead at the half, and after Lokomotiva’s Kolinger was given a red card in the 80th minute, Dinamo’s Lecjaks found the back of the net for 2:0 in the 90th minute. It was Lecjak’s first goal for the club.

Dinamo is in first place with 40 points and a 12 point lead ahead of second, while Lokomotiva is in sixth place with 21 points. 

Istra 1961 v. Hajduk (1:3)

Istra and Hajduk met in Pula for the final match of the sixteenth round on Sunday, November 19, 2017.

Hajduk’s new coach Željko Kopić made an impressive debut against Pula, giving the former Slaven Belupo coach reason to celebrate.

Borja Lopez was the first to find the back of the net for Hajduk after a goal in the 8th minute, bringing the lead 0:1 for the Split team. 

In the 42nd minute, Ante Erceg finally got a taste of a goal again and scored for 0:2, and just one minute later, Hajduk returnee Said beat the keeper to bring the lead to 0:3, the score at the half. 

While Hajduk had momentum in the first half, they dwindled in the second. Istra’s Kitanovski scored in the 66th minute, and a missed penalty by Istra’s Ofosu kept the game 1:3.

The match did not go without insults to the Hajduk players from Torcida, who are apparently still very upset with the club’s overall situation and leaders. 

Hajduk has finally made it to second place with 28 points, while Istra is in ninth place with 13. 

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