Friday, 30 April 2010


Dinamo collected the Croatian league title on Saturday, but celebrations were muted after a disappointing goalless draw with Hajduk Split. Although Dinamo had the chance to win it in style, the team has appeared to be struggling in recent games. Many of the side have struggled to make an impression this season. Keeper Tomislav Butina looks set to step aside for Filip Loncaric next season. Robert Kovac also looks bound for retired, whilst Igor Biscan missed most of the season with injury. Tomislav Barbaric will look on the season as progressive, whilst Luis Ibanez, Etto and Leandro Cufre have failed to get going and shown only flashes of their best form. Ivica Vrdoljak, Pedro Morales and Milan Badelj particularly have been central to the sides best work, but have Mamic's interest in Jerko Leko may suggest Dinamo are not entirely satisfied by Vrdoljak's play. In attack Mandzukic has failed to light up the league despite scoring 14 goals. Mandzukic would argue he has to carry the responsibility of the number 9 having watched Miroslav Slepicka, Dodo, Papadopoulos and Karlo Primorac all disappoint in attack with their being a strong case for Dinamo to offload the lot. Andrej Kramaric has also only made baby steps this year in his progress. Dinamo's recent showing would suggest they will be working hard in the summer to spend transfer money recieved from Dejan Lovren and others on new signings. Hajduk Split themselves are look for new recruits with the possible purchase of Ermin Zec likely to seriously improve their weak forward line.

The loss of two points against Dinamo has in fact seen Hajduk slip to third as Cibalia defeated Medimurje 2-0 and joyfully play Sesvete next with only two games to go. It is likely Hajduk will need to win both games in order to gain the runners up spot. Sibenik meanwhile moved into fourth with a 2-0 win over direct rivals Karlovac. Osijek also missed a chance to move up the table after drawing 1-1 with Varteks. Belupo were also held to a draw by Rijeka.

At the lower end of the table the improved form of Istra and Zagreb has thrown the relegation zone wide open with Zapresic, Varteks and Zadar now in immediate dangers. NK Zagreb got the game they needed at just the right time against bottom of the table Sesvete. Igor Stimac's men made light work of the watch strolling to a 4-1 win. 35 year old Davor Vugrinec continues to outshine the rest of the division as he moved to 17 for the season with a double. Key signings Goran Ljubojevic and Jethron were also on target. Zagreb are now out of the relegation zone.

Istra overcame Zapresic 2-0 to put their opponents in the bottom three and move themselves out of the drop zone. Istra are still only a point away, but have moved up to 11th. Medimurje are meanwhile one defeat away from relegation after their loss against Cibalia. It would appear hard to call who will be dropping down with Sesvete at this stage, but Medimurje are on a poor run and Zadar have collected only a point out of a possible 15. Zagreb and Istra meantime are collecting wins, whilst Varteks have been defeated only once in 5 games, although have also only won once. The Varazdin side it would appear need a win to secure safety.