Friday, 20 August 2010


Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split have given domestic Croatian league football a boost by comfortably winning their final first leg Europa Liga qualifying games. Hajduk Split were outstanding in a 4-1 win over Unirea, whilst Ante Rukavina netted twice to help Dinamo defeat Gyor 2-0 away from home.

Hajduk and coach Stanko Poklepovic can be particularly pleased with their work this summer and during the season so far. Hajduk halved a squad of 30 plus players in June and have since injected youthful promise of players such as Ante Rezic, Ante Vukusic, Franko Andriasejvic, Dinko Trebotic and Duje Cop. Mario Brkljaca has also come good for Hajduk in recent weeks after two seasons spent in obscurity. Senijad Ibricic remains the teams star and is unlikely to move anywhere whilst Hajduk stay in Europa Liga competition. Although as a special player a extraordinary bid and opportunity to get to a big team won't be declined. Hajduk's recruitment of midfielder Erwin Bulku seems excessive, so Hajduk fans will hope Srdjan Andric is not pushed forward to fill Ibricic's role if the Bosnian international is suddenly sold on transfer deadline.

Dinamo meanwhile are still lacking in attacking despite the strong form of Ante Rukavina and the return of Pedro Morales. Cover is still threadbear however with Miroslav Slepicka, Ilija Sivonjic and Dodo floundering to impress. Inter Zapresic are crying out for a striker like Sivonjic or Dodo to return having suffered since they departed. Dinamo meanwhile could be becoming interested by Zapresic playmaker Antun Palic who impressed for the Croatia Under 21's and may do a deal. Dinamo have a midfield vacancy having released Ante Tomic and loaned out Domagoj Antolic.