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Monaco in the driving seat

Wednesday, 11 August 2004

By Martin Pavcnik at Športni Park

[1] Mohamed Kallon scored twice on his AS Monaco FC debut to put last season's beaten finalists in command of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Slovenia title-holders NK Gorica.

Early pressure

[2] On a high after shocking FC København last week, Gorica started the game clearly believing that attack was the best form of defence. They stormed forward from the kick-off, launching wave after wave of attack but they simply could not break down Didier Deschamps's resilient defence and failed to trouble goalkeeper Flavio Roma.

Kallon strike

[3] With nine minutes gone, Monaco newcomer Kallon put the visitors ahead with their first attack of the match after latching onto a high through ball. The remainder of the half was played in a similar vein with Monaco sitting back and conserving energy and then looking to break on the counterattack.

Pirih save

[4] It was not until five minutes from time that Gorica finally created an opportunity, but it was well smothered and inevitably led to a Monaco breakaway with Patrice Evra forcing Mitja Pirih to save.

Evra dismissed

[5] The second half started as the first ended but Evra's sending off for a second yellow card on 57 minutes merely made the game a more exaggerated version of what had happened hitherto. Monaco team simply withdrew even further back, but nearly paid for their defensiveness in 68th minute when Jani Šturm found himself one-on-one with Roma. The goalkeeper came to the rescue though.

Chevanton goal

[6] It proved to be the Slovenian side's final chance of the game and the situation got considerably worse for the home side in the closing moments. With 13 minutes remaining, Ernesto Chevantón received a ball on the right and ran towards Pirih before unleashing a powerful drive that grazed the crossbar on the way to the back of the net.

Last-gasp breakaway

[7] Again Monaco sat back, content to have secured victory, but with the final whistle beckoning they were again presented with an opportunity and again demonstrated some deadly finishing as Chavantón found Kallon with a long ball and he slotted his second of the night.

Gorica's Matej Mavric takes gets to the ball ahead of Ernesto Chevantón