Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FK Voždovac - FK Partizan 1:3 (Jelen SuperLiga, Round 1)

First match of the 2014/15 season. Partizan-players were wearing their nice and brand new grey "away" jerseys. (Petar Škuletić was nice enough to present it at the official jersey presentation in Belgrade in July. Here's a photo of him, you can see more Partizan-photos here, made by the blog author.)

It was a terrible heat, 30 degrees Celsius in the shade, in the stadium located in Belgrade's Vračar district the atmosphere was also heated

terrible pun

with about 1000 spectators.
(Originally they were about to play this match in Voždovac's own stadium, but the police suggested to switch to Obilić stadium in Vračar. Upon their opinion Voždovac Stadion didn't have the needed security regulations for organizing the match.)

(photo: Facebook)

The match started with a quite interesting scene. In the 3rd minute Voždovac had a goal kick. The goalkeeper ran up, kicked the ball - and it hit Lazović's back so much, that it flew back towards the goal and almost scored. It missed the goal just with centimetres. (It would have been the biggest troll goal of Partizan for sure.)
Partizan aggressively attacked Voždovac. Sometimes in the 8th minute Voždovac earned a corner, but they missed the chance. Not much later Volkov had a great shot (it flew too high), one minute later a corner dropped just in front of Vulićević, but the defender also kicked the ball too high. Voždovac got to Partizan's goal only in the 13th minute, but the shot was too weak, it didn't mean any difficulty for Lukač.
Partizan attacked heavily, but somehow all shots were caught by Voždovac defenders. Yet the opponent could hardly get to Partizan's penalty area, and even if they could, they tried with so weak shots that it didn't mean any problem either for Partizan's defense line or goalkeeper Lukač. Game was going on mostly on Voždovac's midfield.
In the 20th minute Drinčić had a free kick but again the ball flew over the goal. Then at the 25th minute they had a cooling break for about 2-3 minutes, everyone grabbed the water bottles.
In the 29th minute Voždovac had a huge chance, missed by Pantelić. (One Voždovac-player ran up to Partizan's penalty area, passed the ball into the middle, Pantelić nodded, but the ball flew over Partizan's goal.) Just before this scene Ninković had a try, the midfielder ran up with the ball among the defenders and shot, but it was again too weak, the ball spun out. Goal kick.
I think, I realized in the 31st minute that Lazović is still on the field. The forward was the shadow of his former self, he barely touched the ball for the entire match. As if his shoulder injury would have sucked the life out of him.
In the 38th minute Grbić missed a chance, and afterwards Partizan made "fireworks" in front of Voždovac's goal. Ninković had more than one shots, but all of them were blocked by defenders. Then Škuletić got the ball and he shot it into goalkeeper Supić from a few centimetres.
The rest of the first half didn't have any more exciting scenes. Partizan kept on attacking, got corners, but somehow all chances were missed. Voždovac got stuck in their own half.
In the second half Partizan continued to attack the home team, but still nothing seemed to work. Right at the beginning Grbić ran up on the right side and passed to the middle, but Škuletić had a bit of "lag" and missed the ball.

Did I see well, that in the 50th minute Obradović practically grabbed Grbić "right there in between"?... 

In the 52nd minute Drinčić again got a free kick, but again missed. The shot had a slide on the goalkeeper's hand and dropped in front of a Partizan-player (I didn't see it clearly, maybe it was Škuletić?...) who then headed the ball above the goal. One minute later the same scene could be seen, now Lazović missed it.
Partizan attacked very aggressively, it was clear they want to score a goal, they want to win very much. In the 55th minute Ninković's distant shot flew too high.
Then the 56th minute was one of those rare moments when Voždovac attacked, just the ball ran away right in front of Partizan's goal, there was nobody there to kick into it and score.

Thank God.

Around the 61st minute there was again a home attack, it was a bit more dangerous. A ball arrived to the middle, hit a Voždovac-player and flew out, goal kick.
In the 65th minute there was another cooling break.

And then came the rhetorical question: why did Saša Ilić come up (and why only as a substitute) only in the 70th minute?... Why?...

In the 71st minute Voždovac almost scored an own goal. Drinčić passed the ball to the middle, it popped left and right and almost ended up in the goal dropping from a defender (finally it ran out of the goal line). A few minutes later Saša Ilić passed to Volkov, the defender passed it to Luka (who came up a few minutes earlier as a substitute), the midfielder headed the ball to the goal but missed.
And then Voždovac took the lead. No one knows how, because they could barely got to Partizan's goal. It was something like "the blind man may per chance hit the mark", but nobody thought it would be like this... The home team got a free kick, someone among the Partizan defenders headed the ball out, it dropped right in front of a Voždovac-player, namely Tripković, he wasn't thinking too much, kicked and scored. 1:0
In the 77th minute Lazović got up to Voždovac's goal, but the goalkeeper saved his shot. They even wanted to make a counter attack, Stanimirović barely missed it...
Then it was 1:1. With an own goal. Volkov lobbed the ball to the middle, he probably wanted to pass it to Škuletić, but the ball finally hit Stošić and got to the goal.

I guess it wasn't in the screenplay, but at least it was already a draw.

Then in the 81th minute it was again Ninković trying from 20 meters, but again too high.
Then something interesting happened.
Ismael Beko Fofana appeared at the sideline as a substitute player.
Fofana. Personally.
That Fofana who was neglected for months, not getting a chance even as a substitute player. That Fofana who scored goals earlier, who is fast, absolutely talented and fans are convinced he does not need to prove himself.
He was there, at the sideline, ready to play.

(photo: mozzartsport.com)

When Grave Diggers noticed Fofana was about to enter, they were shouting and cheering loud. (I've been massively watching Partizan-matches for two years now, but I have never seen anything like this.) And when he finally entered (for Ninković), the stadium exploded. Fans were cheering and shouting every time he touched the ball. They were chanting his name. And somehow this gave an extra fuel to Partizan. They were running much faster, crawling, fighting, chasing the ball, and in the 85th minute Volkov got a huge chance again. The Montenegrin player got a pass, he shot it, but again, it flew too high.
In the 90th minute Partizan made another fireworks. It was a brilliant teamwork by Saša Ilić, Fofana and Luka, but they shot the ball right into the goalkeeper. Partizan-players even complained that one of the defenders of Voždovac actually played handball, but the referee didn't mind it.
5 minutes of extra time was coming.
Total chaos and resurrection.
In the 92th minute, after a wonderful interplay Vulićević passed the ball to the middle. Volkov rose up to the skies and with an unbelievable, amazing movement he kicked the ball into the goal. 1:2

With this movement... it should be taught at academies
(photo: mozzartsport.com)

Then he ran to the Grave Diggers...
(photo: mozzartsport.com)

...to celebrate together with them
 (photo: mozzartsport.com)

(photo: Facebook/Fudbalski klub Partizan)

The coup de grace was given by Fofana.
Vulićević ran up with the ball and passed to Saša Ilić. The boss kicked it to the middle, Lazović stepped over the ball with a very elegant (and totally selfless) movement, and the ball got just in front of Fofana. And the Ivory Coast player tore the net to pieces with his shot. The fans were crying and screaming from joy, and Fofana's happiness was true and absolutely well-deserved.

He shoots...

You scored it, yes

"Gentlemen, I did my duty"
 (photos: Facebook/Fudbalski klub Partizan)

And then it was time to celebrate :)

(photo: Facebook/Fudbalski klub Partizan) 

(photo: mozzartsport.com)

The facts:

FK Voždovac: Supić - Kitanovski (Sekulić, 84.), Stošić, Stanimirović, Stojković - Obradović, Sinđić, Petrović, Pantelić - Tripković - Damjanović
Trainer: Zoran Milinković

FK Partizan: Lukač - Vulićević, B. Ilić, Stanković, Volkov - Grbić (Luka, 59.), Gulan (S. Ilić, 70.), Drinčić, Ninković (Fofana, 82.) - Lazović, Škuletić
Trainer: Marko Nikolić

Goal scorers: Tripković (74.), then Stojković (own goal, 78.), Volkov (90+2.), Fofana (90+5.)
Yellow cards: Obradović (50.), Supić (52.), Tripković (75.), Damjanović (90.), then Grbić (53.), Gulan (66.), Volkov (90+3.)
Red card: Tripković (89.), second yellow card

Championship standings:

1. Vojvodina 3p
2. Partizan 3p
3. Čukarički 3p
4. Borac 3p
5. CZ 3p
6. Novi Pazar 3p
7. Spartak Zlatibor Voda 3p
8. Mladost 1p
9. Jagodina 1p
10. Voždovac 0p
11. Rad 0p
12. Radnički 1923 0p
13. Napredak 0p
14. Radnički Niš 0p
15. Donji Srem 0p
16. OFK Beograd 0p

Match highlights:

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