Saturday, 8 May 2010


Croatian Champions Dinamo Zagreb appear to be ending the season completely out of form after putting in another poor performance in a 2-1 defeat to Sibenik. Goals by Mehmed Alispahic and Antonio Jakolis see Sibenik secure 4th spot. January transfer window signing Dodo and Karlo Primorac have failed to deliver in attack whilst Sammir and Domogoj Antolic have not managed to suceded in deputising for Pedro Morales whilst the Chilean has been away on international duty.

Cibalia still look good for second place after demolishing Sesvete 5-0. Hajduk Split also made light work on Medimurje with a 4-1 win and thus sent the Cakovec based side to HNL2. Duje Cop and Goran Jozinovic was given some rare playing time and both got on the scoresheet for Hajduk. Karlovac missed the chance to secure 5th spot after being held to a 1-1 draw with Istra. Asim Sehic netted his 14th of the season.

Zagreb and Varteks seem to have all but ensured they will play top flight football. It would take a freak set of scorelines for either side to drop down. Davor Vugrinec was once again inspiration as he took his tally to 18 for the season for Zagreb as they defeated Osijek 1-0. Vugrinec has been forming a excellant partnership in attack with Goran Ljubojevic. Varteks meanwhile defeated Zadar 1-0 with Matija Smrekar scoring the only goal of the game. Smrekar looks to be Varteks saviour in more ways than one. As well as scoring the vital goal, the Croatia Under 21 international forward will also sign for French Ligue 2 side Sedan this week which will ensure Varteks recieve 150,000 in compensation which covers some of the clubs debts and could see them still gain their licence to play HNL1 football next season following an appeal.

Whilst Zagreb and Varteks can breathe easy, Zadar, Istra and Zapresic are still deep in trouble with one of the likely to suffer relegation. Zapresic must win against Lokomotiva to give them a good chance of survival. Ilija Loncarevic's side were defeated 3-1 by Rijeka at the weekend. Zadar must face NK Zagreb which could prove tricky as many Zagreb players are still playing for their futures whilst in form Vugrinec is chasing 20 goals. Istra are in the most comfortable position as they continue to show decent form and will need to lose and both Zadar and Zapresic to win in order for them to be relegated. A face off with Rijeka looks the hardest match however on paper.

In the remaining match Lokomotiva drew 1-1 with Slaven Belupo which keeps both teams comfortably in midtable. Lokomotiva will be thoroughly pleased with their position, whilst Slaven Belupo will want to push on next season following the arrival of some new players. The club remains in a strong financial position following sales of Stipe Lapic, Mato Jajalo and Bojan Vrucina for over 3m Euro's in the space of 12 months.