It’s difficult to decide whether or not Dario Rugašević fouled Junior Fernandes with an intent to hurt him, but the bottom line is that the Chilean forward left the encounter between Dinamo Zagreb and RNK Split with a broken ankle which means he won’t be playing for his national team in the world cup.
Zagreb won the away match 3-0, but losing Fernandes is a definite blow, caused by an ugly scene on the pitch. Fernandez was breaking through on the flank when Rugašević tried to tackle him in the air, already a bookable offense, and he was a carrying a yellow card from earlier on.
The hit on Fernandes caused him to misstep and twist his feet in an awkward angle on the ground. Maybe that was enough for him to break it, but Rugašević fell on him and seemed to clip him with his knees, which obviously made things worse. He was sent off with a second yellow card, while the rest of the attention went to Fernandes, who won’t be playing football for a very long time.
Fernandes is the team’s second leading scorer with 13 goals this season. He is spending the year on loan from Bayer Leverkusen and was expected to make the World Cup squad after being capped nine times for the national team. Dinamo Zagreb lead the table comfortably with 11 points between them and second-placed Rijeka.