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Hajduk halt Lokomotiva to capture Croatian Cup

Published: Wednesday 22 May 2013, 23.25CET
Dubbed relegation candidates by some last summer, HNK Hajduk Split rounded off an impressive season with a title after edging out NK Lokomotiva Zagreb in a thrilling Croatian Cup final.
by Elvir Islamović
from Zagreb
Hajduk halt Lokomotiva to capture Croatian Cup
Ivan Vuković scored Hajduk's equaliser ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 22 May 2013, 23.25CET

Hajduk halt Lokomotiva to capture Croatian Cup

Dubbed relegation candidates by some last summer, HNK Hajduk Split rounded off an impressive season with a title after edging out NK Lokomotiva Zagreb in a thrilling Croatian Cup final.

HNK Hajduk Split captain Mario Maloča said his team had proved the doubters wrong after sealing the Croatian Cup with a thrilling 5-4 aggregate final victory over NK Lokomotiva Zagreb.

Hajduk began the second leg in the capital 2-1 up, but within nine minutes it was all square as Mario Šitum struck for Lokomotiva. Goals from Ivan Vuković (45) and Tino-Sven Sušić (52) swung the tie back in the Split outfit's favour and although Andrej Kramarić (71) revived home hopes, Danijel Stojanović's strike within 60 seconds effectively killed them off.

"People were telling us [last summer] that we would be fighting to survive relegation this season," said Maloča, whose team were given a scare in added time when Karlo Bručić found the net with a stunning effort to make it 3-3 on the night. "After all our hard work and effort we have won a trophy. We deserved it. We are aware how difficult the situation is and what this success means for the club."

Hajduk also exceeded expectations by finishing third in the league behind champions GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Lokomotiva. Cup success means Igor Tudor has picked up his first title as coach, just three weeks after he replaced Miše Krstičević at the helm.

Last updated: 23/05/13 11.34CET

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