FC Slovan Liberec | Report: Ostrava - Liberec 2:1
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Fortuna League, Round 21: FC Baník Ostrava – FC Slovan Liberec 2:1

In the 21st round of the FORTUNA:LIGA, a strong Baník side welcomed our boys. The two teams entered the match separated by seven points and Liberec had a chance to move into sixth place with a win. The first half was scoreless, but two strikes by Baník but Slovan in a tight spot. An own goal by the home side made things closer, but that’s as close as it would get.
21.kolo, Saturday 16.2.2019, 17:00
Ostrava Ostrava
Ostrava: Laštůvka – Pazdera, Stronati, Procházka, Fleišman – Fillo, Jánoš, R. Hrubý (79. Jirásek), Holzer (88. Šindelář) – Kuzmanović (67. Diop), Baroš (C).
Liberec: Nguyen - Mikula (85. Pázler), Kačaraba, Karafiát, Hybš - Potočný, Breite (C), Mara, Pešek (76. Malinský) - Nešický (69. Musa) - Kozák.
Goals: 57. Baroš, 70. Diop - 80. Stronati (OG). Yellow cards: 4. Pazdera - 2. Kozák, 24. Mara, 37. Karafiát, 52. Breite, 74. Musa. Referees: Ardeleanu – Blažej, Vlček.
Diváci: 10798


In the opening minutes, the ball was in the Baník end for most of the time, but we did not get any chances. Both sides lacked precision when centered. Referee Ardelean had already excited emotions from the start when two yellow cards were given after two fouls, one for each team. In the 15th minute, Hrubý seemed a little tentative in their play as their organization fell to weak. A minute later, Holzer attacked Kačaraba's net, but he wasn’t able to finish the play.

The first corner was played by Slovan, with Nešický centring the ball to the near post, but it didn’t find any of his teammates. One of Fleišman's direct free kicks bent over the wall and right on Nguyen. The game was still full of emotion as Slovan threatened on several attacks which didn’t amount to anything. Then just before halftime, Nguyen made a great save off Stronati too keep the scores at zeros.

In the second half, after a Breite foul, Banik were given a free kick from a promising distance, but Fleišman's drive went into the wall. In the 55th minute, Slovan had two corners but failed to convert. Then in the 57th minute, Baník were rewarded. Milan Baroš put the ball into the area, Filo shot, and Baros then got to the loose ball and put it past Nguyen for the game’s opening goal.

In the 65th minute, Nguyen didn’t get off an ideal goal kick and Kuzmanović tried to quickly capitalize, but shot just wide. Slovan were down by a goal but unable to relieve the unrelenting Baník pressure. Finally, in the 70th minute, they doubled their lead when Hrubý sent the ball to the far post, where Dame Diop had an easy tap-in. Four minutes later, they nearly made it 3-0 when Pazdera sent a free kick in a decent position from the right, but Holzer couldn’t finish it. Then Musa had a rare chance for Slovan in the second half, but his shot was blocked.

Slovan’s goal came from another corner. Kačaraba put the ball in behind Laštůvka and Stronati tried to rescue it, but instead directed it into his own goal. Almost immediately afterward, Diop had a brilliant chance to restore Baník’s two-goal lead but the Liberec goalkeeper had to come up big again. At the other end, Malinský's defensive line up the middle went just wide of the target.

At the end of the match, Slovan put all of their efforts into offence, and were given a corner for the eighth time, but were not able to get any of their shots through the Baník defence. Baník held on to defeat Slovan 2-1.

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