Players:

Radek Simunek
Endre Szabo Phil Alexander Colin Sablack Jerry Lillard
Julien Vinhas Bart Burgmans Dave Sheppard Vitaly Klopot Adrian Kieran
Todd Benson

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Julien Vinhas
  2. Adrian Kieran
  3. Todd Benson

Report

A rain-soaked Saturday morning sent the Partisan boys a few kilometers outside of Prague to play a new opponent at a new venue. The Nigerian XI had arranged the pitch in Jirny, however it was widely assumed throughout their side that the match was cancelled due to excessive water on the pitch, although none of them actually spoke to each other or Partisan representatives about the situation. The end result was a match that started 50 minutes late and on a beautiful pitch (not to be beautiful for very long) with more water on it than would have been. The first 20 minutes was an up-and-down battle with Partisan moving and passing very well and creating decent breaks against the skilled and athletic but somewhat disorganized opponent. The rain and the Partisan's back four kept their speed in check and shut down any potential opportunities. The break came at about the 23-minute mark as Partisans Zidane gathered the ball and lobbed the goalkeeper from 25 yards. Goal number two came through Vinhas as well. Good work with Klopot on the left sent the Frenchman through to accurately cross for Benson who had nothing more to do than sidefoot it in. The floodgates were open. Partisan kept attacking and the strikers and midfielders forced multiple Nigerian giveaways. This pressure resulted in several corners and goal number three. A corner delivered by Sablack from the right was headed down by Klopot and stopped in a puddle waiting for Kieran to poke in. Benson would get one more five minutes before the end of the half off of a near mirror image of his first. Vinhas broke through to the right and crossed beautifully for Benson to make his comeback game really meaningful. Halftime: Partisan 4 0 Nigerians The second half started with changes at Partisans wings, with Finlay and Olubokun stepping in for Klopot and Vinhas. The conditions had worsened significantly and the football followed suit. Standing water on the field slowed the pace of play. The Nigerians played a better second half and Partisans attack wasnt nearly as effective as in the first half due to a bevy of poorly weighted passes. The Nigerians controlled possession for the majority of the half, but consistently strong tackles from Burgmans and Lillard kept them at bay for the first 20 minutes. Simunek, as he does, threw his body all over the place and made a series of excellent saves and also went to the locker room 5 kilos heavier. It was mostly water weight and he should be able to shed it in a month or so. Partisan lost their clean sheet near the 25-minute mark when the Nigerians skillful number ten controlled at the top of the box and sent a clever, curling shot with the outside of this right that deceived Simunek and ducked in just under the cross bar. At this point, the Africans began diving into some seriously outrageous tackles, and potentially volatile incidents had to be repeatedly extinguished. Partisan had its fair share of chances in the second half, and seconds after an unbelievably inept 4-on-1 break that couldnt be finished, Vinhas took a shot from long range that deflected off a Nigerian central defender and eluded the keeper. It would finish 5-1 as a result of a very nice team performance, specifically a dominant first half. Special mention to Benson for two goals in his comeback game, Vinhas for setting him up twice and scoring two of his own, to Burgmans for his brilliant slide tackles and Lillard for getting stuck in as often as possible.