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Maribor set seal on ninth Slovenian title

Published: Saturday 21 May 2011, 23.33CET
NK Maribor are celebrating winning their ninth title in Slovenia after a 2-1 win against NK Primorje, though coach Darko Milanič admitted they had hit "a mental block" in the closing stages.
by Rok Šinkovc
from Ljubljana
Maribor set seal on ninth Slovenian title
Maribor celebrate winning the 2010/11 Slovenian title ©NZS
Published: Saturday 21 May 2011, 23.33CET

Maribor set seal on ninth Slovenian title

NK Maribor are celebrating winning their ninth title in Slovenia after a 2-1 win against NK Primorje, though coach Darko Milanič admitted they had hit "a mental block" in the closing stages.

NK Maribor are celebrating winning their ninth title in Slovenia after a 2-1 victory against NK Primorje left them five points clear with one league game remaining.

Maribor fell behind in Ajdovscina to Sasa Kolman's strike, but turned things around in the final 20 minutes, with the league's 16-goal top scorer Marcos Tavares equalising before his highly-rated 19-year-old strike partner Robert Berič hit the winner with six minutes to go.

It was a relief for coach Darko Milanič, who said: "We have had a wonderful season; all the guys deserve a lot of praise. We wanted this trophy so much, but sometimes when you have a task to do, you can get a mental block.

"This fear was very noticeable the final rounds of the season. Our first objective has now been reached and we can have a peaceful preparation for the cup final [where Maribor face NK Domžale on Wednesday]."

The Purple Boys will now play in the second qualifying round of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League, and sporting director Zlatko Zahovič added: "Our strategy of seeking out young players paid off. We dominated throughout the season, even though the number of players who left Maribor was larger then ever.

"We had to build a new, young team. At the same time, we must not forget that this team has one additional strength: our fans."

Last updated: 09/12/12 6.45CET

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