Thursday, 13 May 2010


Hajduk Split leaped over Cibalia to finish the season as runners up following a 5-2 win over Croatia Sesvete on the last game. Rubin Kazan target Senijad Ibricic wrapped up a excellant personal season with a hatrick which takes him to 17 goals, with Duje Cop and Florin Cernat also on target. Cibalia meanwhile were defeated in a more tougher encounter with Osijek. Ivan Milicevic and Srdjan Vidakovic's strike move Osijek into a respectable 5th place.

At the lower end of the table Inter Zapresic are set to suffer relegation despite beating Lokomotiva 4-2 with a hatrick from 17 year old Mislav Orsic. In a bizarre turn of results Varteks, Zadar, Istra and even second from bottom Medmiurje all won. Varteks finished the season in a remarkable 10th place after a 3-2 win over Slaven Belupo. Istra also will look forward to a positive future under Russian ownership as they gained their third win in 5 matches in which they have been unbeaten. Istra defeated in form Rijeka 2-0 with Asim Sehic netted his 16th goal of the season.

Zadar also secured their top flight status with a 1-0 win over already safe Zagreb. Ivan Curjuric's strike proved the matchwinner. Zagreb coach Igor Stimac meanwhile announced he would be leaving the club, whilst 35 year old striker Davor Vugrinec finished the season as HNL1 highest scorer with 18 goals. It is being suggested Stimac may now move into the hotseat at Hajduk Split, despite the outstanding work done by veteran trainer Stanko Poklepovic who secured the Croatian Cup and second place despite taking the side over in a midtable position.

Zapresic's position in the league remains unstable as of yet as HNS is yet to decide how many teams will play in the Championship next season. Zapresic's appearence as one of the wealthier clubs, backed by Dinamo Zagreb, would be preferential. However it is not sure whether RNK Split will be replacing just Sesvete in another 16 tier league or whether Zapresic, Medimurje and Sesvete will all drop down.

Medimurje finished the season with a 4-0 win over Europa league qualifiers Sibenik. Dinamo Zagreb and Karlovac played out a 1-1 draw in the remaining fixture. Sibenik will be looking for a replacement for Ermin Zec, whilst newly capped Bosnian international teammate Mehmad Alispahic may also attract bids after his wonder goal against Dinamo last week. Karlovac will also look to revamp the side after Zvonko Pamic's transfer to Leverkusen, whilst Goran Bunoza also could move with Dinamo highly interested. A goalscorer will be high on Igor Pamic's shopping list after Karlovac highest scorer player managed just 5 strikes.

Champions Dinamo Zagreb meanwhile finished the season poorly. Robert Kovac, Tomislav Butina, Ante Tomic and the disappointing Karlo Primorac all look set to be released as their contracts expire in the summer. The club may consider retaining Matias Chago who performed well whilst on loan with Istra. Their has been talk of replacing coach Kruno Jurcic with equally unproven Croatia assistant coach Nikola Jurcevic, however the problems at the club appear to lie much deeper than this. Milan Badelj could be subject of a offer from the Bundesliga, whilst Dario Simic has already arrived and Jerko Leko could also sign adding more strength to the midfield. The only positive news coming out of Dinamo is that Pedro Morales has been called to Chile World Cup squad. The talented playmaker will be Dinamo's only representative at the competition should he survive coach Bielsa's cut.

HNL1 Topscorers