Players:

Radek Simunek
Chris Johnson Garrett Parker Stephan Schuchardt Dammy Olubokun
Daniel Bugel Bart Burgmans Dave Sheppard Jerry Lillard
Armand Guri Shaz Khaliq

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Armand Guri

Report

A very strange game this one. It began with Partisan looking to stay in touch with Zizkov at the top of the table while Cosmos were attempting to secure their first win in their thirty game history. On paper it looked like a straightforward home win but it turned out to be nothing of the sort. The game started brightly for Partisan who looked organised and confident, with Parker and Schuchardt dealing comfortably with Cosmos' long ball approach. After twenty minutes with very few openings Partisan put together a slick move down the right which resulted in Guri finding the ball at his feet and powering into the penalty area before coolly lifting the ball over the advancing keeper. Cosmos protested as they felt the ball had gone out during the build up but the referee refused to listen. However, the goal appeared to galvanise the Cosmos players who suddenly began to exert more influence on the game. A couple of times, the Partisan defence was made to work hard to prevent an equaliser. On the half hour Alexander and Ross entered the fray for Lillard and Bugel but had little chance to get a touch on the ball before Cosmos won a deserved penalty after a clear trip in the box. It was dispatched into the bottom left corner with Simunek powerless to stop it. Partisan responded immediately with Alexander intercepting a pass on the left and sending the ball down the line for the overlapping Olukuban. He played the ball inside and it was quickly worked right across to the right hand side where Johnson swung in an inviting cross and Khaliq rose to head home. That was the way it stayed until half time with little more goalmouth action though Johnson took a knock on his ankle that hampered him for the rest of the game. Half Time: Partisan 2 - 1 Cosmos In the second half Partisan again started with a lot of the ball, though any moves seemed to collapse before they could get behind the Cosmos defence who were extremely solid throughout. Suddenly a long clearance from the heart of the Cosmos defence after fifty minutes caught Schuchardt out of position and sent the Cosmos forward clear. Simunek hesitated at coming out of his goal and the striker was allowed plenty of time to finish. After sixty minutes Burgmans and Johnson came off for Lillard and Bugel to return and Bugel in particular caused a lot of problems down the Partisan right, creating a number of chances and winning a number of corners that Partisan threatened from without ever getting a clear sight of goal. Khaliq had had a torrid time being hounded by his marker, with a couple of clear fouls going unnoticed by the referee. This frustrated Simunek who made his feelings known to the referee. The ref responded by awarded an unprecedented indirect free kick inside the Partisan box despite the ball having been at the other end of the pitch when the incident took place. In the ensuing argument Alexander was booked for dissent. The kick did not result in a goal and shortly after Partisan were threatening again. Good work once more from Bugel saw the ball played infield to Alexander who had time to turn and play an inch perfect through ball to Khaliq with the outside of his left boot. Khaliq turned and shot but, from twelve yards, pulled his shot wide. Partisan were made to pay for the miss ten minutes from time when Cosmos broke away down the right and the player shot, looping the ball perfectly over Simunek and into the far side of the goal. Cosmos were understandably delighted and went about protecting their lead by putting eleven men behind the ball which frustrated Partisan further. They managed to get down both flanks a couple of times but the crosses failed to find their intended targets. At the final whistle, the Cosmos players celebrated enthusiastically while Partisan rued a missed opportunity to stay in touch with the league leaders.