FC Slovan Liberec | Report: Ostrava - Liberec 0:1
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Championship group, Round 3: FC Baník Ostrava – FC Slovan Liberec 0:1

Derek OBrien
In the third round of the FORTUNA:LIGA Championship Round, Slovan faced probably their most important match which could ultimately decide who plays in the Europa League next season. the most important match was waiting for Slovan, who could fundamentally decide on the possibility of European Cups next season. The opponent was Banik Ostrava, and thanks to a gritty effort and a late corner by Kamso Mara, Slovan earned a 1-0 away win.
N3, Tuesday 14.5.2019, 20:00
Ostrava Ostrava
Ostrava: Laštůvka – Pazdera, Procházka, Stronati, Fleišman (C) – Fillo, Mešaninov, Jirásek (89. Šindelář), Holzer – R. Hrubý, Kuzmanović (69. Šašinka).
Liberec: Nguyen – Fukala, Kačaraba, Mara, Hybš – Sýkora (90+1. Karafiát), Breite (C), Nešický (72. Pešek), Potočný – Musa, Kozák (84. Pázler).
Goal: 86. Mara. Žluté karty: 55. Kuzmanović, 90. Mešaninov, 90+3. Šašinka - 12. Musa, 58. Kozák, 70. Hybš. Rozhodčí: Matějček – Moláček, Myška.


The first offensive from Banik stirred some emotions early because the home side claimed a Potočný hand ball in the area, but the referee immediately indicated that no penalty would be given. The Ostrava side were more aggressive early on, kicking two corner, but couldn’t convert either. Eventually, Slovan’s play improved and they began to put a bit of pressure on Banik, although they didn’t get any shots away. In the 36th minute, Holzer jumped up the middle and got a shot off from in close, but Nguyen dove and knocked it away.

In the 42nd minute, Nešický shot from the edge of the area, hitting the side the goal. Holzer burned a good chance after Kuzmanović's ball was shot, shooting high above the goal. Neither side managed another shot before halftime, so the teams went to their dressing rooms at 0-0.

Banik created some pressure in the 47th minute and Nguyen had to double up, stopping a long shot and then Holzer in close. Subsequently, Slovan created a chance, as Kačaraba set up Kozák, who blasted it wide. In the 72th minute, Šašinka jumped up for a header just three minutes after entering the match but misfired.

Despite Slovan’s improved play, their chances were still few and far between, and Laštůvka didn't have too much work in the Banik goal. But finally, persistence paid off for Liberec. After a corner kick, the ball bounced to Kamso Mara, who calmly deposited it into the net with workmanlike efficiency to make it 1-0 to Slovan.

Banik had a chance to respond quickly, as first Fillo shot and missed, but it bounced back to Shashin, and Mara managed to defend it. However, the pressure did not end. Procházka shot acrobatically and hit the crossbar, as Slovan held on by the skin of their teeth to take three points home from Ostrava.

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