HNL Round 20 Recap: First Half of Season Complete, Teams Welcome Winter Break with Big Wins

Daniela Rogulj

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NK Rijeka Facebook

The 20th round of the Croatian First League came to an end on December 18, 2017.

Can we believe the first half of the season is already over? 

The 20th round of the Croatian First League was the final round before the teams welcomed a much-needed winter break. With no Croatian football until February (eek!), we’re lucky that a few of the favorites in the league finished their final game with a bang, on a high-note, and with positive energy going into the last half of the 2017/2018 season next year.

While we now kiss our beloved clubs goodbye for the chilly winter months, here’s a look at what went down during the 20th round of the Croatian First League.

Dinamo v. Cibalia (1:0)

Dinamo and Cibalia kicked off the 20th round at Maksimir Stadium on Saturday, December 16, 2017. 

The first half was scoreless for both teams, and for most of the match, it seemed that it would remain just that. As one would expect, though, the leaders of the Croatian First League found a way to secure a goal, and in the 79th minute, Henriquez sealed the 1:0 victory for Dinamo.

Dinamo is currently at the top of the group with 50 points while Cibalia is in ninth place with 17.

Istra 1961 v. Osijek (1:1)

Istria and Osijek met in Pula on Saturday, December 16, 2017.

Another scoreless first half kept fans of both teams on their feet, and it would be Istria to score the first goal of the match after Prelcec found the back of the net in the 53rd minute. 

While Osijek’s Maric came back to equalize in the 71st minute, neither team was able to secure another goal. Istria’s Hadzic was sent off the pitch in the 84th minute for a double-yellow.

Osijek is currently in third place with 36 points while Istria is in 8th with 17.

Hajduk v. Inter Zaprešić (5:0)

Hajduk and Inter met for the third match of the 20th round at Poljud on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Another scoreless first half for the teams in Split, the second half surely made up for it.

While both teams had to fight one another and the ruthless bura wind, the healing wind’s powers helped Hajduk to secure an unbelievable five goals in the second half. 

It all began with a stunning shot by Ohandza in the 49th minute, followed by Said in the 56th, Erceg in the 67th and 75th, and Almeida in the 77th. The game ended 5:0 for the Split club.

Hajduk is currently in second place with 38 points while Inter is currently in fifth place with 26. 

Rijeka v. Rudeš ( 3:0)

Rijeka and Rudeš met at Rujevica on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Rijeka sealed their fate of the match early on after Acosty scored for 1:0 in the 6th minute. Still 1:0 at the half, it wasn’t long before Vesovic brought the lead to 2:0 in the 63rd minute. 

The final goal of the match did not come until extra time, but Rijeka’s Puljic scored for 3:0 in the 92nd minute.

Rijeka is currently in fourth place with 35 points, and Rudeš is in last with 12. 

Slaven Belupo v. Lokomotiva (2:2)

Slaven Belupo and Lokomotiva met in Koprivnica on Monday, December 18, 2017, to play the second half of the match they were unable to finish over the weekend.

A wild 45 minutes which saw a healthy helping of goals, Lokomotiva was first to score with a goal by Capan in the 65th minute. Just five minutes later, Belupo’s Ivanovski found the back of the net to equalize. 

One minute later, Lokomotiva’s Sunjic brought the Zagreb club in the lead for 1:2 in the 72nd minute, and just two minutes after that, Belupo was given a penalty which Ivanovski capitalized on for a goal in the 74th minute. The game ended 2:2. 

Slaven Belupo is currently in seventh place with 21 points while Lokomotiva is in sixth place with 23.



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