The objective has been achieved and the European summer at Ljudski vrt may continue. We expected a hard and demanding match, one that can be decided upon with patience and quality. And we did just that.
"It is typical of the opponent that they are talented in the attack phase. We had some difficulties when we were not concentrating enough, but on the whole it was a great match – the boys were seeking solutions and we only had that weak moment after our lead. We knew that the opponent was going to offer something and once we had broken through that first block of theirs, a path opened up. We cooperated well and we deserved to win. It is true that we were a bit nervous until the end of the match, but that contributed to us and the fans enjoying the match," Darko Milanič summarised his impressions after another milestone had been achieved.
We scored three times to beat FC Chikhura Sachkhere, but the goal of Ivković was not recognised. The goalkeeper of the guest team was successful in preventing an early decision of the match.
"I asked what happened with that annulled goal, but even the boys themselves could not tell me. We presume it was a foul. We wanted to decide the match faster to avoid that nervous play-off. The goalkeeper stopped us a few times with excellent defence; he showed speed and quality. We came close to scoring several times and scored later than we had wanted. But it was well deserved."
Another confirmation of the diversity of the purple team: Luka Zahović and Marcos Tavares found the path to the net and the defence playing was again flawless. Sending in Jasmin Mešanović contributed a lot to the outcome of the match.
"Congratulations to everyone for the well-played match and for controlling the play. We have increased the series of matches without receiving a goal. Following an exceptional action, Luka opened up a path towards victory and Marcos confirmed progression with a new scoring milestone in qualifications. Once the opponent's play level significantly declined, we added new solutions. We had difficulties, the right side midfielders and right full-back players were tired. Mešanović was like a fresh breeze when he entered the match in this position. We have done this move several times this spring. Many of his actions were successful, but especially his assistance following the excellent attack of Tavares. Great stuff!"
The next European station is Glasgow – we are returning to the football pitch of which we have fond memories.
"A top match is ahead of us and an opponent with a rich football tradition. We have been successful so far in our matches against the Scottish opponents and we hope this trend will continue. However, we will have to prepare ourselves well. We have strengthened ourselves and changed the members of our team. They are trying to play better than last year, to achieve something more significant. This is going to be a great challenge for us, but we know how to play such matches. However, a match with NK Aluminij is coming up first. The championship match will be in the foreground until Sunday, followed by thorough preparations for a match against FC Glasgow Rangers."