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Four-goal Partizan too hot for Skendija

FK Partizan 4-0 FK Skendija 79
Vladimir Stojković's 12th-minute penalty save and four second-half goals capped a productive night for the Serbian champions in Belgrade.

Partizan fans had reasons to be cheerful after their side's 4-0 defeat of Skendija
Partizan fans had reasons to be cheerful after their side's 4-0 defeat of Skendija ©AFP

FK Partizan will feel that they have one foot in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round after completing a four-goal victory against FK Skendija 79 in Belgrade.

It might have been a very different story had Vladimir Stojković not saved a penalty from Feran Hasani after 12 minutes. Despite a goalless first half, the hosts found their feet in the second half as Zvonimir Vukić, Eduardo, Marko Šćepović and a Sedat Berisha own goal compounded a miserable night for Osmani Catip's side.

High temperatures in Belgrade appeared to affect both teams during a torpid first half, although the visitors were offered a golden chance to take the early initiative after Stefan Babović committed a foul in the area. Hasani took the spot-kick but Stojković guessed correctly. On 28 minutes Babović had the chance to make amends but his effort was well saved by Suat Zendeli, who also denied Vladimir Volkov.

There was nothing Zendeli could do three minutes after the break, however, when Volkov, after appearing to overrun the ball, played a clever back-heel to Vukić, who scored with ease. Suddenly Partizan were in their stride and, ten minutes later, two goals to the good as Eduardo latched on to Nikola Aksentijević's pass before rifling in.

Midway through the half, Nemanja Tomić almost scored after a brilliant solo run but was thwarted by Zendeli. Šćepović went one better, though, completing a mazy slalom by dribbling around the goalkeeper to score into an empty net. A miserable night for the FYROM champions was complete when Berisha put the ball into his own net while trying to thwart yet another Partizan attack.