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Polished Partizan prevail against Shkëndija

FK Shkëndija 79 0-1 FK Partizan (agg: 0-5)
Fourgoals up from the first leg, Partizan added just the one in the return courtesy of Vladimir Jovančić's 68th-minute strike.

Shkëndija's Sedat Berisha (left) and Vladimir Volkov contest a header in Skopje
Shkëndija's Sedat Berisha (left) and Vladimir Volkov contest a header in Skopje ©Makedonski Sport

Vladimir Jovančić scored four minutes after coming off the bench as FK Partizan − UEFA Champions League group stage participants last season − completed a handsome second qualifying round triumph against FK Shkëndija 79.

Four goals up from the first leg six days earlier, Partizan survived an early onslaught from the hosts in the Macedonian capital. The decisive moment on the night came midway through the second half when Jovančić gave Nikola Aksentijević's pass the finish it deserved, thereby ensuring the Serbian outfit go into their encounter with KRC Genk in the next round on a winning note.

One of two changes to the side which won comfortably in Belgrade, keeper Radiša Ilić was vital in preventing Shkëndija from scoring the early goal they craved. His first act was to save a powerful strike from the dangerous Feran Hasani while on the quarter-hour mark he denied Ersan Sali before thwarting the former for the second time soon after.

Hirtherto quiet as an attacking force, Partizan sprung to life before half-time but this time it was the turn of Shkëndija No1 Suat Zendeli to shine. Having stopped an effort from Eduardo, following an excellent pass by Vladimir Volkov, he was then quick to avert the looming danger and prevent Marko Šćepović from punishing a defensive error.

Shkëndija's second-half advances lacked the gusto of those in the first and their hopes of salvaging some pride from the tie took a blow on 68 minutes. Just on, Jovančić repaid Aleksandar Stanojević's faith by calmly placing the ball past Zendeli. A frustrated Shkëndija finished with ten players after Muhamed Huseini was sent off for a second booking in added time.