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Partizan progress past Otelul

Thursday, 26 August 2004

By Aleksandar Boskovic at the FK Partizan stadium

[1] Last season's UEFA Champions League group stage participants FK Partizan are one round from reaching the equivalent phase of the UEFA Cup, but Romanian visitors FC Otelul Galati made them work hard to secure their passage from the second qualifying round.

Radonjic winner

[2] Srdjan Radonjic, not long returned from representing Serbia and Montenegro at the Olympic Games, was the only goalscorer of the tie, which had been goalless after the first leg, but heavy rain made conditions tough for both teams. It was not until the 21st minute that either goal was threatened, Simon Vukcevic's quick free-kick for Partizan narrowly missing the target.

Vital goal

[3] Within seconds Otelul's Viorel Tanase found Costel Mozacu, but his effort missed from 12 metres out. Tanase then crossed to 23-year-old Constantin Iacob, only for his header to go the same way as Mozacu's shot. At the other end, Radonjic was denied by the crossbar, though within four minutes he made up for the disappointment, scoring from inside the area after a pass by Pierre Boya.

Otelul chances

[4] Partizan were deploying a new 3-5-2 formation to try to counter Otelul's use of Iacob as a lone striker, but the home team were stretched at the back early in the second half. Tanase went close twice within five minutes of the restart, and Iacob was only denied by a fine reaction save from Ivica Kralj.

Partizan prevail

[5] However, Partizan gained in strength and dominated the last half-hour. Boya, Radonjic and Nenad Brnovic all went close, and although Boya missed again in the last three minutes, Partizan had survived.

Otelul's Viorel Tanase (left) challenges Nenad Brnovic