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Artmedia progress on penalties

Published: Wednesday 24 August 2005, 0.15CET
FK Partizan 0-0 FC Artmedia Bratislava (agg: 0-0, Artmedia win 4-3 on pens) Juraj Čobej is the hero as the obdurate Slovakian side seal victory.
by Aleksandar Boškovic
Published: Wednesday 24 August 2005, 0.15CET

Artmedia progress on penalties

FK Partizan 0-0 FC Artmedia Bratislava (agg: 0-0, Artmedia win 4-3 on pens) Juraj Čobej is the hero as the obdurate Slovakian side seal victory.

Goalkeeper Juraj Čobej was the hero for FC Artmedia Bratislava as the obdurate Slovakian side sealed a berth in the UEFA Champions League group stage following a penalty shoot-out in Belgrade, after their tie against FK Partizan had finished goalless following extra-time.

Brnović denied
Čobej was in stunning form throughout the tie, making a series of saves to keep the home side at bay before coming to the fore as the tie moved to its dramatic finale. The Artmedia custodian denied Nenad Brnović to hand the visitors a famous 4-3 sudden-death shoot-out victory and become only the second Slovakian side to progress to the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition.

Vukčević central
It was a dramatic end to an enthralling encounter that for large periods had simple pitted Partizan's attack against Artmedia’s defence. The home side's Simon Vukčević orchestrated much of the opening stages, and almost broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, shooting narrowly wide after a strong solo run. Vukčević turned provider later on in the half, crossing for Ivan Tomić to head goalwards.

Profligate finishing
However, Čobej saved well and it was to become a familiar sight as he grew in stature, and he made a stunning stop to deny Vukčević later on in the half. Partizan were also guilty of some wasteful finishing and Tomić contrived to miss the target when superbly placed five minutes after the interval before Nenad Djordjevic headed over from five meters after Vukčević's corner.

Artmedia rally
Čobej returned to the fore to deny Pierre Boya with the game moving into the final quarter. Juraj Halenár forced Kralj into his first save of the game on 74 minutes but with the game going into extra-time, Partizan had their best chance of the night, when Čobej parried Marko Lomić's shot into the path of substitute Nikola Grubješić, who missed from five metres.

Superior fitness
It was Vladimír Weiss' side, who knocked out former European champions Celtic FC in the last round, who looked stronger and only a superb reflex save from Kralj prevented Halenár from sealing the win in extra time, before his Artmedia counterpart Čobej had his moment of glory.

Last updated: 24/08/05 9.37CET

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