July 24, 2023 – The new SuperSport HNL season officially kicked off last weekend, and it did not disappoint. Not only did Hajduk get SuperKup revenge against Dinamo and take 3 points at Maksimir, but Osijek debuted at Pampas Arena with a blowout win against Slaven Belupo! Here is our SuperSport HNL recap.
Dinamo – Hajduk (1-2)
The 2023/24 SuperSport HNL season opened with the Eternal Derby between Dinamo and Hajduk. The two teams kicked off on Friday, July 21, at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb in front of 12,248 fans.
Dinamo was the first to take the lead in the 35th minute with a goal by Petkovic as Hajduk’s defence slept for 1-0. Petkovic shockingly went on to miss a penalty in the 65th minute, forcing a turnaround for Hajduk in the next 10 minutes. Livaja brilliantly spun around Livakovic to equalize in the 74th minute. In the final seconds of the game, a Hajduk corner resulted in the winning goal, scored by Hajduk wonderkid Rokas Pukstas. The match ended 1-2 for Hajduk.
In round two, Dinamo meets Istra away and Hajduk hosts Rijeka at Poljud.
Rijeka – Rudeš (4-0)
Rijeka and Rudeš met on Saturday, July 22 at Rujevica Stadium in front of 5,070 fans.
Jankovic put Rijeka ahead with a goal in the 40th minute for 1-0 at the half. And the scoring spree continued from there. Jankovic scored his second goal for 2-0 in the 68th minute. Fruk made it 3-0 in the 80th and Goda scored for the final 4-0 nine minutes later. Even though the score does not reflect it, possession was equally split between the two teams at 50/50. Rijeka had seven shots on goal compared to one for Rudeš.
In round two, Rijeka meets Hajduk and Rudeš plays Osijek.
Osijek – Slaven Belupo (6-1)
The opening round also featured Osijek’s debut at the new Pampas Arena, and the Slavonian club did not fail to make this a night to remember. Osijek and Belupo met on Saturday, July 22, in front of 9,992 fans.
Osijek’s scoring spree started already in the 4th minute with Mierez scoring the first-ever goal at the new stadium for 1-0. Caktas made it 2-0 in the 18th minute and Crnac gave Belupo some hope with a goal in the 29th minute for 2-1. But Osijek was not close to giving up, and Fruk made it 3-1 at the half. Three more goals were scored in the second half from Nejasmic, Bukvic, and Lovric for the final 6-1. Hoxha also missed a penalty for Belupo in the 89th minute.
In round two, Osijek meets Rudes and Belupo meets Varazdin.
Gorica – Varazdin (1-1)
Gorica and Varazdin met on Sunday, July 23, in Velika Gorica in front of 1,296 fans. Vujnovic scored in the 28th minute for the Gorica lead, and Varazdin was unable to come back until the last 10 minutes. Brodic found the back of the net in the 80th minute for the final 1-1. Varazdin had more possession in the game, with 57% to 43% for Gorica.
In round two, Gorica plays Lokomotiva and Varazdin meets Belupo.
Lokomotiva – Istra 1961 (1-1)
Lokomotiva and Istra closed out the first round of the new season on Sunday, July 23, in Zagreb. Only 704 fans were in attendance. Erceg put Istra ahead with a goal in the 12th minute. Bubanja equalized in the 69th minute for the final 1-1. Lokomotiva had 60% possession to Istra’s 40%, with six shots on target.
In round two, Lokomotiva meets Gorica and Istra plays Dinamo.
You can find the HNL table here.
To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.