Rijeka Tops Dinamo to Win Croatian Cup in Pula!

Daniela Rogulj

Rijeka crushed Dinamo’s hopes of winning the double crown again this year and topped the Zagreb club 3:1 in the Croatian Cup final in front of 6,742 spectators at the Aldo Drosina stadium in Pula, reports HRT on May 22, 2019. 

It was a fantastic final and a deserved victory for Rijeka, who for the fifth time won the Croatian Cup and celebrated for the second time in the last three seasons. In Dinamo’s 22nd final, this is their seventh defeat.

Antonio Čolak (13’), Tibor Halilović (40’) and Zoran Kvržić (84’) were the goalscorers for Rijeka, while Mislav Oršić scored for Dinamo in the 63rd minute. Dinamo had an excellent opportunity to equalize in the 73rd minute thanks to a penalty, but Rijeka goalkeeper Simon Sluga brilliantly defended Dani Olmo’s shot. 

Dinamo opened the match better, and in the first minutes of the game, they barely let Rijeka breathe – Dinamo attacked, and Rijeka was forced to defend. However, Rijeka’s first serious attack also put them in the lead. 

Tomečak shot from 20 meters, but Livaković pushed the ball out for a corner. Kvržić crossed the ball in, and Petković responded poorly in front of the Dinamo goal, allowing the ball to arrive at Čolak, who scored for 1:0 in the 13th minute. Two minutes later, Halilović threatened Dinamo again,  but Livaković successfully reacted. 

The first real chance for Dinamo came in the 31st minute, but Oršić shot over the goal. In the 37th minute, Petković threatened, though he too missed. Three minutes later, Rijeka increased their advantage. Zoran Kvržić brilliantly pushed the ball up the right wing and through the legs of Rrahmani to find Halilović who scored for 2:0. 

Dinamo was desperate, and knew it was all or nothing. Nenad Bjelica introduced Gavranović and Leovac instead of Atiemwen and Rrahmani and with two attackers, they pushed to equalize. Gavranović threatened in the 50th minute, however with a weak shot. 

Dinamo picked up their pace and Oršić got Dinamo back into the game with a goal for 2:1 in the 63rd-minute. 

Seventy-three minutes into the match, Dinamo had another excellent chance to score thanks to a penalty, though Dani Olmo was unlucky. The young Spaniard shot at the right side of Rijeka’s goal, though Sluga reacted fantastically. The game remained 2:1.

All doubts about who would win came to an end in the 84th minute with an impressive goal by Zoran Kvržic for the big 3:1. 

In the first round of the Cup, Rijeka defeated Križevci 9:0 in the first leg of the Cup, and with a result of 2:1, Rijeka topped Kumanovo, Lokomotiva and Inter to advance to the final.

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