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Slovan scratch ten-year title itch

Published: Wednesday 13 May 2009, 22.25CET
ŠK Slovan Bratislava have ended a ten-year wait to become Slovakian champions again, sealing their fifth title with a 3-1 home victory over FC Nitra courtesy of goals from Samuel Slovák, Juraj Halenár and Ján Kozák.
by Rastislav Hribik
from Bratislava
Slovan scratch ten-year title itch
Sloven sealed the title at the Tehelné Pole ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 13 May 2009, 22.25CET

Slovan scratch ten-year title itch

ŠK Slovan Bratislava have ended a ten-year wait to become Slovakian champions again, sealing their fifth title with a 3-1 home victory over FC Nitra courtesy of goals from Samuel Slovák, Juraj Halenár and Ján Kozák.

ŠK Slovan Bratislava have ended a ten-year wait to become Slovakian champions again. The only Slovakian team ever to lift a European trophy, the 1969 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against FC Barcelona, sealed their fifth title with a 3-1 home victory over FC Nitra courtesy of goals from Samuel Slovák, forward Juraj Halenár and midfielder Ján Kozák.

Fifth title
Slovan moved 14 points clear with four games remaining as closest challengers MŠK Žilina lost at 3-0 at MFK Košice. "The title went into the right hands," said coach Ladislav Pecko. "I have a gorgeous feeling. My childhood dream has become a reality. To claim the title as a coach is a fantastic moment in my life." Pecko has now been involved in all five of Slovan's post-independence titles – as a player in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999 and now as coach.

Beard shaved
For Slovan captain Michal Hanek it was a particularly special day. Last Christmas, when Slovan were four points ahead of Žilina, the defender opted not to shave again until his team clinched the title and he kept his word, only removing the beard minutes after the final whistle against Nitra at the Tehelné Pole. "The beard started to be nasty," smiled the 29-year-old. "This is a special moment for me – my biggest club success."

Back-to-back champions
The championship was also significant for Kozák, Branislav Obžera and Halenár as they celebrated successive Superliga crowns, having triumphed last season with FC Artmedia Petržalka. "I hope we will now be able to achieve European success with Slovan as well," stated Obžera. "But it will be tough." Slovák added: "For a club like Slovan, ten years waiting for the title is a long period – I am happy we ended it."

Last updated: 14/05/09 0.01CET

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