Players:

Radek Simunek
Gerry Keaty Keyur Patel Phil Alexander Gerd Lemke
Colin Sablack Dave Sheppard Vitaly Klopot Anders Rokaas
Todd Benson Sergey Zhmako

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Sergey Zhmako

Report

It was the first match of the New Year for the blue boys of Partisan, who were looking to build on the milestone year that was 2007. The opponent was the always tough, intercity rivals of IFC. The venue: the sunny, but chilly and windy table mountain at Horn Mecholupy. Basically, it was perfect weather to start the new season. A strong side was captained by Chris Johnson who opted to start himself on the bench as he admitted that he had been out of the football loop since Christmas. Partisan started the first half with a strong wind at their backs. However, they were unable to take advantage of the opposition's experienced yet aging backline. The referee set the international record for offside calls made in one match. Both back lines held firm as the midfields struggled to show dominance. Sheppard did an outstanding job of tracking the opposing playmaking center mid throughout the match. The best chance of the half for either side came as Benson broke the offside trap, but instead of being a selfish striker he decided to lay off to Johnson, who had come on for Zhmako. Johnson cleverly chipped the keeper, but the referee deemed him to be in an offside position. The half finished scoreless and Partisan were frustrated by their missed opportunities and the referees decisions. With the wind in their faces in the second half, Partisan did a much better job of actually playing football, stringing passes together and keeping the ball on the ground. As is usually the case, this style of play resulted in more cleans breaks throuhg the well-run offside trap. Zhmako was undoubtedly the biggest recipient of these chances, but the pressure got to him, as he failed to finish on three separate one-on-one occasions with the keeper. IFC broke the draw in the 70th minute on a corner kick. Their big center back made an unmarked run to the back post and finished with a one-time, right-footed volley. 1-0 to the bad guys. Partisan Fought back, and through more good passing, were able to give Zhmako one more chance against the keeper in the 82nd minute. He managed to finish and correctly decided to limit his celebration. Keaty came off, Benson on at striker again. Zhmako moved to right wing and Sablack to right back. The nearly proved catastrophic, because during another IFC break and Simunek on the ground, a poorly played left-footed clearance by Sablack had to be saved by the keeper to avoid a devastating own goal. IFC went ahead for goodin the 89th minute when a cross in from the left wing was headed out of Simunek's hands and slotted home. The referee blew for full time shortly after. 2-1 to IFC. Although there can't be too much dissapointment with a highly competitive loss to a tough opponent, we know we can play much better, more consistant and cohesive football. An important bounce-back match comes next week against another big rival Dynamo Zizkov. Until then, heads up.