Shame, disgrace, scandal.
At the beginning of the match Spartak put us under a very uncomfortable pressure. We could get to their penalty area only in the 6th minute for first, but even then it was far from being dangerous.
Other than this nothing happened. Spartak possessed the ball more, but they didn’t bild up an attempt until the 17th minute. It was Mrkela then, who ran up on the right side, but Bogosavac blocked him with fantastic timing.
That was the most spectacular moment of the game.
The next "event" came in the 19th minute, it brought a smaller fight among players (pushing each other, yelling, Saša Ilić complained), then it all calmed down.
Then again nothing happened. Nothing ever. It’s very rare that you can see such boredom on a football field.
Even Jevtović’s terrible shot was an "event" (the ball flew out metres away from the goal), when it hit a defender and ended up as a corner kick.
In the 29th minute Stevanović came up with the ball on the right side among defenders. Finally he tried to shoot from a totally impossible angle. The goalkeeper saved, probably in autopilot mode (he probably didn’t even wake up).
In the 33rd minute Saša Ilić had a distant shot. This was our first actual attempt that meant danger for the goal. (It says all that this only attempt was by the team’s veteran player.)
Both teams made awful mistakes, both sides lost the ball too many times. I was howling sometimes from actual physical pain it all caused me. In the 37th minute Spartak’s defense line made a huge mistake. Brašanac got the ball, he sent a flat shot to the goal, but it was too wide.
In the 40th minute we ran up for a counter-attack after a Spartak-corner. Mihajlović possessed the ball, he ran up with the ball through the entire field, making a fantastic solo, then he shot, missing the goal with just a few centimetres.
The 44th minute brought another fight. As it could be seen from the slow motion replay, Tumbasević and Bogosavac clashed (Partizan’s defender tackled Tumbasević, then they started to yell at each other, finally Spartak’s player pushed Bogosavac to the ground). The referee immediately showed Tumbasević the red card, sending him off the field.
The second half brought the most horrible bunker football by Spartak and terrible, outrageous, absoulte anti-football by us.
In the 49th minute Bandalovski passed to Stevanović from the right side. Stevanović shot, the goalkeeper caught it. In the 51st minute Bojinov got a great pass, but when he shot, the ball flew out metres away from the goal.
Bojinov was a total disaster. He didn’t play this terribly for long. As if he didn’t even see the goal line, just kept on kicking the ball at haphazard.
In the 53rd minute Bogosavac crossed to Mihajlović at the other side, but Mihajlović hit the ball like a U6-player. I just facepalmed.
Spartak sometimes broke out of the bunker, but I had the impression for the whole time they didn’t really want to attack. Obviously they were told in the half-time to block every single of our attempts, not allowing us to score and preferably not risking an attack, when the defense line might open up too much. They came up only once to our penalty area, in the 61st minute. Ivanović shot from the distance, almost hitting the crossbar. We started a counter-attack right then, Bojinov got the ball in the middle, but this time he made an even more ridiculous shot than the previous one.
In the 64th minute Kosović shot, it was too high.
Here came a period when we attacked continuously. We shot almost in every minute to the goal, but every single attempt was imprecious, too wide or too high. Mihajlović tried, Stevanović (he had numerous attempts), Saša Ilić, but all were in vain. The goalkeeper had to throw himself into the way only at Saša Ilić’s shot.
Spartak left nothing to chance. They didn't leave the bunker, they blocked most of our attempts and we just couldn't break through them.
Spartak was playing only with 10 players. Just sayin'.
They came up to our penalty area in the 84th minute, but they just showed themselves, without any actual attempt.
We kept on attacking, lacking every idea. In the 85th minute Bojinov had another try, but this time the goalkeeper had a giant save by leg. A minute later Vlahović got a pass, but he couldn’t make any attempt out of it. The tense grew bigger and bigger on the field, players were yelling with each other, disappointed fans were shouting louder and louder. Spartak-players did everything to keep us away from the goal, and we, well, we were just fumbling.
We got a free kick in the very last minute, 30 minutes from the goal line, but defenders headed Bojinov’s shot downfield.
It was high time for the final whistle.
Return match will be held on 20th April.
Update: here is SOS Kanal's 27-minute-long footage about the match. (Only for masochists.)
Venue: Partizan Stadion, Belgrade
Number of spectators: 1500
Referee: Milan Ilić (assistants: Vladimir Jovanović, Ivica Stojanović - 4th assistant: Bojan Jovanović - goal line assistant: Bojan Nikolić, Petar Piper)
FK Partizan: Kljajić, Bandalovski, Gogoua, Jovanović (Golubović, 85.), Bogosavac, Jevtović (Bojinov, 46.), Brašanac (Vlahović, 79.), Kosović, Mihajlović, A. Stevanović, Saša Ilić
Head coach: Ivan Tomić
Spartak Subotica: Mirković, Jočić, Kovačević, Torbica, Mrkela (Ivanović, 55.), Milošević, Novaković (Jondić, 46.), Milić (Branković, 68.), Antonić, Šljivić, Tumbasević
Head coach: Andrei Chernishov
Yellow card: Antonić (32.), Šljivić (33), Stevanović (70.), Branković (90+3.)
Red card: Tumbasević (44.) - fighting