Thursday, December 3, 2009

Partizan Beats Red Star in 137th Football Derby

By: Katerina Jonev
Belgrade, Nov.30, 2009 (Serbia Today) - The goal by Partizan player Lamine Diarra in the 4th minute opened the game up, and it was Partizan’s Claverson Kleo’s goal in the 62nd which was the decider. Partizan defender Srdja Knezevic allowed Red Star’s only goal when, in the 43rd minute, he tipped a ball into his own goal while fending off a shot from Red Star player Aleksandar Jevtic.
Although both teams made claims that they would be performing their best at the match, the final analysis of the duel of Serbian footballs two biggest rivals was disappointing. Partizan dominated in the beginning of the match. From the start they ruled in the middle of the field and quickly converted that dominance to a goal in the 4th minute.
After Partizan’s goal at the beginning of the game, Red Star established a balance on the field but the offense was unable to convert the opportunity into a goal. In 20th minute Red Star striker, Lekic threatened to score, but his shot from 20 meters was wide. It was two minutes before the end of the first half that Red Star’s Jevtic sent a shot to the right side of the goal and Partizan defender Knezevic, in an attempt to prevent Lekic’s shot, tipped the ball past his own goalkeeper making the match even at 1-1.
The drama of the match did escalate in the second half, as Partizan was forced to play a man short. For almost the entire second half Partizan played with one player less after Knezevic, who had already received a yellow card, fouled again, and was sent off in the 47th minute with a red card.
The loss of a player, almost at the outset of the second half, seemed to galvanize the ‘black and white’ as Partizan is known. Partizan’s level of play elevated as they fought off Red Star’s attempts to capitalize on their numerical advantage. Red Star did not manage to create one successful attack even though they had greater ball possession and numerical superiority.
In 62nd minute the ‘Black and White’ mounted a great counter-attack, and with wonderful shot from the edge of penalty area Kleo found the corner of the goal for 2-1 lead.
It was expected that the Red Star players give would dig deep and take the battle to Partizan after this goal but in the rest of the match they played without any inspiration. They managed to make only two real opportunities, both by Jevtic.
Nearly 15 minutes before the end, Partizan’s fans set their chairs on fire in the south panel of the stadium and referee Stankovic stopped the match for five minutes, but with the referee’s final whistle, Partizan’s players ran to the south stands, where they celebrated the victory with supporters.

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