Players:

Radek Simunek
Doron Raviv Garrett Parker anonymous Dammy Olubokun
Mark Matthews Stephan Schuchardt Vitaly Klopot Endre Szabo
Ricardo Garcia Armand Guri

Substitutes:

Scored goals:

  1. Vitaly Klopot

Report

The first league match of the new Prague league campaign saw Partisan away to Sokol Kolovraty B. After only a slight adventure getting out there, we found the opposition prepared to play on their grass pitch after having advertised on the web that they play on an artificial surface. Several Partisan players only brought boots for the artificial surface. After a little debate it was agreed that we indeed would play on the artificial surface. The squad was thin as we still needed several registrations plus we were facing a hefty transfer fee for the services of Burgmans which hadn't happened yet. So we launched the new campaign with Simunek in goal. Parker and Ostrowski in the center of defense. Olubokun started at left back and Child started at left back. In the midfield we started with Klopot and Schuchardt while Szabo played left wing and Matthews started on the right wing. Garcia and Guri were the two strikers. Johnson arrived midway through the first half as our only substiture. The pitch was rather undersized and it took a while for either team to establish much rhythm, plus we were also breaking in a brand new referee who later would become facebook friends with Simunek (but that's neither here nor there). The first goal came when the oppositions keeper ran out of his box to clear the ball and he committed a cardinal sin by clearing the ball to the center of the pitch where Klopot retrieved it and calmy lofted the ball from 40 meters out into the back of net. The keeper desperately tried to get back but had no chance to make the save. 1:0 Partisan. Play continued to lack fluidity as there were many stoppages in play for phantom fouls on Partisan players (the author's personal favorite being a second half foul on Guri who, in true matador style, stepped out of the way of an onrushing defender who managed to trip over himself and go down). At the half, Johnson replaced the injured Schuchardt in the holding midfield role and Szabo and Olubokun swapped positions as well. Half Time: Partisan 1 - 0 Kolovraty The second half started slowly, largely due to the 15 minute long halftime break that we're not accustomed to in the Super League. Olubokun even commented he was about to fall asleep. Not long after the restart the opposition keeper punted toward Ostrowski and Szabo. The ball managed to get past them and a forward ran on to it and beat Parker and Simunek with a clinical finish to the far post. Partisan 1 : Sokol Kolovraty B 1. The good news is that the equalizer woke Partisan up from their halftime nap and Johnson, Olubokun and Klopot quickly began to assert themselves. Johnson in particular gave us a dimension we lacked in the first half with his ball winning in defense and solid distribution in attack. The game winner came when Guri, after being harassed with cheap shots throughout the match, took it upon himself to go at straight at the defense, bullied his way through a crowd and powered the ball passed the keeper. The Czechs were desperate for an equalizer and put several more players up in attack, but the back 4 held strong. We did survive a close ball as the ball hit the left upright on a bad angle. But in their new commitment to attack the Czechs opened up several gaps in their midfield and Partisan were able to maintain decent possession and hold onto a well earned victory.