Three teams secure spots in C’ship group of Slovak Football league

DM Monitoring

BRATISLAVA: The last round of the regular season of Slovakia’s premier football league Fortuna Liga saw Ruzomberok, Michalovce and Trnava battle out of a five-team package to make the championship group, leaving Trencin and Senica in the lower half of the table.
After Saturday’s 22nd round, the league split into two groups, the teams in the upper half will fight for the championship and spots in the European competitions, while clubs in the lower half will have to fight against relegation.
With 28 points, Ruzomberok was sitting in the fourth place and leading the five-team pack fighting for the upper half, but had to face the toughest opponent in the league, Slovan Bratislava.
The table leader from Slovakia’s capital, who beat Ruzomberok 1-0 thanks to Rafael Ratao’s quick rebound-shot from close range, has only a single defeat so far.
After the close defeat, Ruzomberok had to hope for one of the three teams with 27 points, Trencin, Trnava or Michalovce, to slip up and lose.
Ruzomberok got lucky in the end since Trencin emerged as the ill-fated team of the lot, losing 2-0 to Zlate Moravce and moving down the standings from fifth to seventh, saying goodbye to the upper half.
Adrian Sloboda only had to tip the ball in after it bounced off the goalkeeper when Tomas Dubek tried to shoot one past him on a breakaway in the first half, 1-0.
Trencin tried to mount a comeback but the visitors’ goalkeeper Menno Bergsen underestimated a long pass in the 50th minute and Jakub Svec was gifted an easy scoring opportunity, doubling the score to 2-0.
Senica had the smallest chance of advancing to the top six with only 24 points and its hopes got crushed by the penultimate Nitra early in the second half when the visitors managed to score twice within 4 minutes.
Ondrej Vrabel redirected Dmytro Niemchaninov’s long-range effort behind the back of the home team’s goalkeeper and moments later Milan Ristovski scored on a breakaway. Senica’s rallying efforts got thwarted in the 81st minute when Edmund Addo got sent off with a red card.
Nitra used the man-advantage to stretch the lead to 3-0 when Ristovski was close to scoring his second goal of the game but his shot was parried only to be tipped in by Marian Chobot, making the debut of Senica’s new coach Jan Bires not very pleasant.
Seventh-ranked Michalovce made the best of the opportunity to join the top six, edging out the last-ranked Pohronie 1-0 after Modibo Sidibe’s easy goal on the home team’s fast-break in the 57th minute and moving to the fourth spot in the standings.
The last team to make the cut is Trnava, defeating third-ranked Dunajska Streda 1-0 and moving up from sixth to fifth in the standings. Trnava’s Austrian striker Alex Sobczyk decided the outcome as early as the 14th minute, redirecting a ball that bounced off two of his teammates into the net.
The visitors managed to defend the fragile lead despite playing a man short since the 59th minute when Matus Turna got sent off the pitch on his second yellow card.
Tenth-ranked Sered became easy pickings for the second-best team of the league Zilina.
The visitors scored two goals within 5 minutes late in the first half and added another one in the second to stay in the hunt for the championship, trailing Bratislava by 10 points with 10 rounds left to play in the 2019/20 season.
David Duris opened the scoring with a beautiful long-range shot that bounced in off the post, Dawid Kurminowski followed moments later on a similar effort and Kristian Vallo capped Zilina’s effort with a tremendous slalom through the defenders and scoring from close range.
Three minutes before the end of regulation, Sered’s defenseman Lubomir Michalik got sent off on his second yellow.