If there are no surprises in the last two rounds of the regular season in the Croatian League, Jadran Split will enter the playoffs from 1st place.
The Split-based team defeated Jug (11:9) in the big derby and took the top spot.
The teams are tied in points, but Jug has played one match more than Jadran. Besides, Jadran has a better goal difference and a better score in head-to-head matches with Jug (the derby in Dubrovnik in the 1st part of the regular season ended in a 10:10 draw).
In the remaining two rounds Jadran will play against Mladost and Solaris. Jug will have only one match until the end of the regular season (it will host Primorje in the next round). Therefore, Jug’s chances to climb to 1st place aren’t very big.
Jadran Split – Jug AO 11:9 (1:2, 4:3, 3:2, 3:2)
Jadran Split: Bukic 3, Cagalj 2, Duzevic 2, Buric 1, Marinic Kragic 1, Butic 1, Tomasovic 1.
Jug AO: Fatovic 3, Jokovic 2, Zvono 1, Lazic 1, Krzic 1, Kakaris 1.
Solaris – Mladost 7:10 (2:2, 0:4, 3:3, 2:1)
Solaris: Jakovcevic 2, Burburan 2, Krekovic 1, Sirovec 1, T.Sparada 1.
Mladost: Mijic 3, Dadvani 2, Rakovac 2, Fabris 1, Jelaca 1, Elez 1
From the first whistle, the derby was a balanced game. Jadran scored the first goal in the match – that happened in the 5th minute. Still, Jug was a slightly better rival in the first half. The visitors had a 2-goal advantage twice in the early stage of the second quarter (4:2, 5:3). After Jug’s fifth goal, Jadran consolidated its defense and held Jug scoreless for almost ten minutes. They produced a 3:0 run in that period. In the middle third quarter, Luka Bukic found the net to give Jadran a 6:5 lead. Kakaris ended the visitors’ silence in the 21st minute and leveled with an extra player – 6:6. Jadran responded with two goals (8:6), but six seconds before the last break, Fatovic halved the deficit (7:8).
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Jug had a very good chance to equalize – from the 5m line, but Anic saved a penalty shot from Fatovic. Immediately after Duzevic hit the back of the net for 9:7. Jadran had control of the match. Three minutes before the end, Marino Cagalj converted a man-up and three goals separated the rivals for the first time – 11:8. Jug couldn’t come back.
Jadran had a player fewer on the roster. Head coach Marelja could count only on one goalkeeper – Mate Anic. Ivan Marcelic was out of the team. Besides, both teams were weakened from the 2nd quarter. AT the finish of the first period, Niksa Dobud (Jadran) and Marko Zuvela (Jug) were red-carded at the same time.
After Mladost’s victory over Solaris, it’s almost certain that the Zagreb-based team will finish in 3rd place in the regular season. Solaris led 2:1 in the third minute. But, after that, Mladost tightened its defense, scoring six goals in a row. Early in the third period, the visitors had a 7:2 advantage. Solaris woke up and started coming back, but it was too late.
1.Jadran 11 games– 31 points*
2.Jug 12 – 31*
3. Mladost 11 – 24
4. Primorje 11 – 21
5. Solaris 12 – 15
*Head to head: Jadran – Jug 10:10 and 11:8.
POSK – Mornar 6:5 (0:1, 1:1, 2:1, 3:2)
POSK:Vukic 2, Gadza 2, Prizmic 1, Borovcic Kurir 1.
Mornar BS: Cumbelic 2, Guduric 1, Buselic 1, D. Akrap 1.
Zadar 1952 – KPK Korcula 10:9 (3:2, 2:0,4:3, 1:4)
Zadar 1952: Jovancevic 3, Jurisic 3, Zelic 2, Cicero 1,Martinovic 1.
KPK Korcula: Joudrie 3, Tedeschi 3, Begovic 1, Denoble 1, Bjelopera 1.
Both games in the relegation group were very exciting.
POSK edged out Mornar in the Split derby. In the middle of the fourth quarter, POSK built a 2-goal lead (5:3). Mornar erased the deficit quickly. In the 30th minute, Guduric scored from a counterattack to level at 5:5. In the next attack, Gadza gave POSK a 6:5 lead. The team in the white caps kept a slim advantage until the end.
Zadar collected its first points in the season, defeating KPK Korcula 10:9. Before the final quarter, Zadar had a solid 9:5 lead. Still, the match entered a thrilling finish. Three minutes before the end, KPK cut the deficit to one goal (9:10). After that, a big battle continued, but there were no goals and Zadar moved from the “ground zero”.
6.Mornar 11 – 15
7.Medvescak 11 – 12
8.POSK 12 – 11
9. KPK Korcula 11 – 5
10.Zadar 12 – 3