FK Rabotnicki recovered from their first defeat of the season to beat FK Renova 2-0 on Saturday and secure the championship in F.Y.R. Macedonia with four rounds remaining.
A 1-0 loss at FK Baskimi on 23 April had postponed Rabotnicki's title party while also ending goalkeeper Tome Pacovski's run of 790 minutes without conceding a goal – a sequence that broke the eleven-year record of FK Sloga's Lazo Lipovski. But the champagne was only briefly on ice, as goals from Ivan Jovanovic and Eftim Aksentiev sealed Rabotnicki's third crown following triumphs in 2004/05 and 2005/06.
Rabotnicki hold a 12-point lead over second-placed FK Milano yet a superior head-to-head record means the Skopje club cannot be overhauled. The weekend celebrations were also the ideal way to mark Dragoljub Bekvalac's 50th match as coach. "We have earned this success," said Bekvalac. "I have been hugely impressed by my players and by their commitment. They deserve it." With the coach's primary pre-season target achieved, and with a Macedonian Cup semi-final to play, Rabotnicki could have further cause for joy. "Last summer I said I wanted the title and then to look at winning the cup too," Bekvalac said. "This is our next goal."
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