Tough, because you were full of hope, determination and faith.
Tough, because the team played such an anti-football that was beneath criticism.
Tough, because we equalized in the very last moment and even that was not enough.
Tough, because Belorussians could qualify with only one goddamned, lousy, rotten goal by the Away Goals Rule.
And tough, because the internet connection had hiccups all night, may the sky fall on the local provider company.
In ul. Humska there was a 100 % full house. Rumours speak that all tickets were sold out by Monday.
Right at the beginning the Norwegian referee showed the red card to Zhavnerchik. A few minutes later we got a free kick on the left, about 25 metres from the goal line. The kick was cleared by defenders, but the ball dropped to Petrović. Petrović sent a distant shot to the goal. It wasn’t too powerful, but it was too wide.
In the 5th minute Bate got a corner kick. Our defenders headed out the shot, but Belorussians still possessed the ball. Mladenović shot from 25 metres, Živko Živković saved.
Then Fabricio lost the ball. Gordeichuk grabbed it, attacked, dribbled himself through our entire defense line and shot. For our great luck he missed.
In the 7th minute Bojinov gave a huge pass to Babović on the left. Babović shot it through the field to the other side, where Andrija Živković was waiting for it. Živković wanted to head it to the goal, but his movement was imprecise.
In the 20th minute Živko Živković pushed Average Fan into an almost-heart-attack state. After Balažic passed the ball back to him, Živković lost the ball with an impossible move. Mladenović was right there, got the ball and passed it to Signevich. Signevich shot, but it was too high. (Again for our great luck.)
That’s how it was going for the entire match. Partizan made unbelievable mistakes, not just one or two players, but the whole team. As if they were under spell or someone would have mixed something into their afternoon coffee. We could see such moves that are not allowed even at a U6-game. Lost balls, missed passes, kicks and headings, way too long passes. We demonstrated how not to play football. What the hell was going on?...
In the 22nd minute Aboubakar ran up on the left side, overrunning every Belorussian player. He passed the ball to the middle, but a defender blocked it. Never mind, we still possessed the ball. Bojinov headed it excellently to Babović. Babović shot, missed.
In the 25th minute Belorussians got the ball and ran up on the left side to our penalty area. Their attacker ran all alone, he even shot, Živko Živković made an U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E save, but the ball dropped back to the goalmouth, right to Stasevich. Stasevich wasted no time, shot and scored. 0:1, no, please, I want to wake up, it’s just a bad dream.
But we immediately made a counter-attack. Aboubakar ran up on the left side, passed the ball with fantastic pace to Andrija Živković in the middle, but his pass was too long.
In the 32nd minute a Belorussian player pushed Petrović to the ground. The referee didn’t whistle, so the guests could go ahead for an attack. Balažic cleared the shot arriving to the middle of the goalmouth (braving death, in the last moment, saving a few thousand lives).
Two minutes later Aboubakar shot from 16 metres, but he hit the side-net.
And here, at this point Bojinov got injured so much that he couldn’t continue.
It's unbelievable what a bad luck the Bulgarian has. If he could play, he has to stay on the bench. If he can make it to the starting eleven, he gets injured. If none, then he doesn't have his goal-scoring shoes on (while the press keeps on mocking him).
After the game mozzartsport.com released a photo about Bojinov's swollen left ankle that looked like a 2 kg bread rather than a humane limb. I will not post the photo here, because it doesn't look too nice, but if you have strong nerves, and want to see it, click here and feel desperate.
In the 43rd minute we got a free kick. The ball came from the right, Aboubakar wanted to grab it, but a defender was faster. A minute later we got another free kick on the left, about 30 metres from the goal line. Babović shot it to the middle, Balažic headed it, but it was too high. In the very last minute of the first half Fabricio tried with an approx. 30 metre shot, but the goalkeeper caught it.
The second half started with a heart attack.
Bate had a fireworks-alike attack in our goalmouth with at least 3 attempts within 5 seconds. They missed only with millimetres. First Živko Živković made a giant save, then the ball hit the goalpost, then defenders cleared the area, finally Stasevich shot, but it was too high.
In the 49th minute we got a free kick, 25 metres from the goal line, on the left. Babović shot, Šaponjić headed it, but it was too high. In the 55th minute Bate got a corner kick. Signevich headed it to the goal line, but this heading was also too high. A few minutes later Hleb appeared in front of our goal and shot from the middle. Živko Živković saved not just the goal, but a few thousand lives as well.
In the 62nd minute a kick arrived from the left. Babović wanted to kick it, but a Belorussian defender was again faster. In the meantime, if I could see well, Andrija Živković and Aboubakar switched sides. Žile got on the left, while Aboubakar could run up with the ball on the right.
I’m not an expert, I’m not familiar with a lot of things, but why was it necessary?...
In the 71st minute Aboubakar got the ball from Vulićević and shot, but it was too high. A minute later Andrija Živković passed the ball to the middle, where Šaponjić forwarded it to Brašanac. Brašanac kicked it to the goal line, but he hit the goalkeeper with the ball.
In the 74th minute Babović passed the ball to the left side to Petrović. Petrović kicked the ball back to the middle. The ball hit a defender, got a ricochet and fell into the net from the goalkeeper’s hand. 1:1
In the 77th minute Saša Ilić and Andrija Živković passed the ball to each other, then the Captain forwarded it to Šaponjić, but a defender blocked the attempt. A minute later Babović, unbelievable, he lost the ball on our side. Belorussians immediately ran up to our penalty area. For our big luck the defenders were at their place.
In the 80th minute Aboubakar made a sudden, distant shot from the penalty area line. The shot was imprecise, he missed.
In the 86th minute again Aboubakar got the ball. The Cameroonian player was surrounded by at least 3 Belorussian defenders, but he shot. The goalkeeper saved, and the slow motion replay showed 2 players being on offside. Two minutes later Karnitsky sent a sudden, distant shot to our goal line, but missed.
At the very end, in the 90+3rd minute Vulićević passed the ball from the right side to the middle. A defender wanted to head it out, but the ball dropped back to Aboubakar. He wanted to head it to the goal, but the goalkeeper pushed it out - right in front of Šaponjić. The young striker shot with a wonderful bicycle kick and scored. 2:1
But we couldn’t make miracle.
It gives barely any comfort that we can try ourselves in Europa League.
As soon as there are highlights available, I’ll update the post. And I promise I find some video about fans’ coreography as well.
At the beginning of the match:
At the end, when they overwhelmed the team with their love.
And the one and only Captain Ilić.
Venue: Partizan Stadion, Belgrade
Number of spectators: 30 000
Referee: Svein Oddvar Moen (assistants: Kim Thomas Haglund, Frank Andas - 4th assistant: Sven Erik Midthjell - goal line assistants: Ken Henry Johnsen, Svein-Erik Edvartsen) - NOR
FK Partizan: Ž. Živković - Vulićević, Balažic, Fabricio, N. Petrović - Brašanac, Babović - A. Živković, Lukić (S. Ilić, 63.), Aboubakar - Bozsinov (Šaponjić, 37.)
Head coach: Zoran Milinković
Bate Boriszov: Chernik - Zhavnerchik, Palyakow, Milunović, Mladenović - Stasevics, Aleksiyevich, Volodko, Hleb (Karnitsky, 75.), Gordeichuk (Ríos, 90.) - Rodionov (Signevich, 16.)
Head coach: Alyaksandr Yermakovich
Goal scorers: Zhavnerchik (own goal, 74.), Šaponjić (90+3.), ill. Stasevich (25.)
Sárga lap: Zhavnerchik (3.), Balažic (9.), Mladenović (20.), Stasevich (65.)