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Elbasani seize the baton

Published: Friday 7 January 2005, 9.00CET
Monthly review: KS Elbasani were snapping at SK Tirana's heels as the winter break began in Albania.
Published: Friday 7 January 2005, 9.00CET

Elbasani seize the baton

Monthly review: KS Elbasani were snapping at SK Tirana's heels as the winter break began in Albania.

A rare defeat for SK Tirana has allowed KS Elbasani to dream of title glory in Albania.

Rare defeat
With four games in twelve days in the run-up to the winter break in Albania, Sulejman Starova's side's form deserted them as they lost 2-1 at KS Dinamo Tirana in their final league game of 2004 on 22 December allowing Elbasani to close the gap at the top to four points with a 2-1 win against KS Shkumbini.

Good results
Artan Bushati's Elbasani had earlier earned a 1-0 win against third-placed KS Vllaznia on 10 December. They then drew 2-2 at KS Partizani and came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at champions Tirana on 18 December.

Dede equaliser
That game in the Albanian capital started well for the home side with Indrit Fortuzi opening the scoring after ten minutes, and adding a second early in the first half. However, two goals in four minutes from Skerdi Bejzade and Nevil Dede saw Elbasani earn a point to keep the champions in their sights.

Greek move
Defender Dede, however, has since left the club, moving to Greek side Ergotelis FC on a six-month contract as the winter transfer window opened. "I have signed a deal until the end of this season with the option of another year," he said. "I will miss the good times at Elbasani, but this is a new opportunity for me."

Furtuzi departs
Tirana, meanwhile, have also lost their top goalscorer with the 31-year-old Fortuzi also crossing the border into Greece to join Iraklis FC. Fortuzi, who has scored 142 goals in 220 Albanian top-flight appearances, previously played in Greece with Ethnikos Piraeus FC and Apollon Athens FC.

Partizani business
Partizani have been the busiest team in the transfer market so far, signing Alpin Gallo, Luan Pinari and Mahir Halili, all of whom had been released by Dinamo. However, they have also released most of their Brazilian players with only Junior and Eduardo expected to stay for the remainder of the campaign.

Ferko at Egnatia
Meanwhile, the only coaching move of the last month saw Alfred Ferko take up the vacant coaching post at relegation-haunted KS Egnatia following the resignation of Hysen Dedja. The new coach picked up a 1-0 win against doomed KS Laçi in his second game in charge, but Egnatia remain seven points away from safety.

Last updated: 31/01/12 9.26CET