Monday, 13 April 2009 01:30

Moreira celebrates contract extension by inspiring Partizan victory

Vojvodina 0-2 Partizan

MoreiraAlmani Moreira celebrated his new contract with Partizan by scoring one goal and creating the other in the champions’ 2-0 victory at Vojvodina in the top of the table clash in Serbia this weekend.

Partizan travelled to the Karadorde Stadium to take on second-placed Vojvodina defending a 13-point lead at the top of the Super Liga. After the victory, Moreira’s men now have a fourteen-point advantage, with city rivals Red Star moving into second.

It was a far from convincing performance by the champions in the first half at the modest 6,000-seater ground in the north of the country. However, after a goalless first half, Partizan emerged from the break a much-improved side and took a 51st-minute lead when top goalscorer Lamine Diarra latched onto Moreira’s clever through ball and beat Kesic at the second attempt.

Diarra returned the favour with twenty minutes left to play when the duo combined again during a Partizan counter-attack. The Senegalese broke from inside his own half with the ball and Moreira raced up field, receiving the pass from Diarra and coolly poking the ball past the goalkeeper into the bottom corner for his eighth league goal of the season.

“Everybody saw, in the first half was not so good, they played well and it was very difficult for us,” Moreira said after the match. “The second half was totally different: we improved; we scored two goals and we controlled the whole second half of the game.

“Each week that passes and we win we are getting more and more close (to the championship). Today it was important for us to win - since I have been here we’ve only won here one time - and it is another step for our title victory.

“My celebration? I ran to the coach (Slavisa Jokanovic) and there was a special reason, but it is between him and me. It’s better if it’s a secret, but it’s a very good reason.”

With the league title all but won, Partizan are still in contention to repeat last season’s domestic double, as they travel to second-division Hajduk Belgrade on Wednesday in the quarter-final stage of the trophy.

“This is a more difficult type of game,” Moreira insisted. “Nobody wants to lose, especially these teams. Their level of motivation is very high, because they really want to play Partizan and they’re at home, also. It’s a really dangerous game. It’s like that everywhere in the cup.”

Related: New Partizan contract for Almani Moreira
By Sean Gillen