NK Maribor completed the first part of a prospective domestic double by defeating lowly NK Triglav 2-1 to win the Slovenian title for the fourth successive season.
Ante Šimundža's team wrapped up the championship with two games to spare thanks to two first-half goals from Nusmir Fajić, his second coming after the visitors had quietened the 4,000-strong crowd inside Stadion Ljudski vrt through Ajdin Redžić's equaliser. Maribor played all but five minutes of the second period with ten men following the dismissal of defender Arghus.
The Violets will aim to add the Slovenian Cup to their ever-expanding trophy cabinet when they play ND Gorica in the final on 21 May. Double winners in the last two campaigns and four times overall, Maribor have now topped the end-of-season table on 12 occasions, five of them since former national team playmaker Zlatko Zahovič was appointed sporting director.
Šimundža, enjoying the first title of his coaching career, said: "It is very difficult to get to the top, but even harder to stay there. Many people seem to take our titles for granted and assume that we will dominate in all competitions, but we can see that our opponents want to approach every season stronger.
"The quality of NK Maribor lies not only with players but also in the club structure, management, fans and people who live for the club. We are almost at the end of a fantastic season in which we were the first Slovenian club to survive the winter in the Europa League [losing in the round of 32 to eventual finalists Sevilla FC]."
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|Last updated: 13/05/2014 22:10 CET|
Janža 31 (P)
Fajić 17, 42
Coda 19, 60
Eterović 67 (P), 90
Golubar 10, Sambolec 32, Kelenc 84 (P)