MŠK Žilina secured their fifth Slovakian title in eight years with a 4-0 win against DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda, halting the challenge of ŠK Slovan Bratislava with a game to spare.
Žilina were five points ahead of reigning champions Slovan at kick-off, having trailed their rivals at the start of April before the capital club embarked on a run of only one win in five games. That put Žilina in line for their first championship since 2006/07 − they finished as runners-up in each of the last two years − and a pair of goals from Tomáš Oravec and one each by Ivan Lietava and Mário Pečalka ensured Pavel Hapal's side are celebrating.
"We were a little nervous during today's game, but after the second goal everything was clear," Hapal told SITA. "I am happy to win a title and of course to eliminate Hajduk Split from the Europa League this season, but to be honest, elimination from the Slovak Cup [in the third round by MFK Košice] was a huge disappointment."
Captain Róbert Jež added: "Before the start of the season not so many people believed we would be able to add a fifth title, maybe some of us too, but now we have it and it's a nice feeling. I am so proud to be captain of this team."
Hapal is the third Czech coach to have led Žilina to league success after Leoš Kalvoda in 2001/02 and Pavel Vrba five years later. They have now drawn level with Slovan on five titles and will enter the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round. The runners-up and third-placed Dukla Banská Bystrica will compete in UEFA Europa League qualifying along with FC Spartak Trnava, who meet Slovan in the Slovakian Cup final on Tuesday.
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