BRATISLAVA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Slovan Bratislava Sports Club sealed its championship title in the Slovak premier football league Fortuna Liga with a convincing 3-2 victory in a direct clash with its only competitor, Zilina City Sports Club, earning a record-breaking 10th crown in the nation's football league history.
With only three rounds left to play in the 2019/2020 season that has been shortened due to a three-month pause caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Bratislava got ahead by 13 points on second-ranked Zilina, repeating its last year's success when the team from Slovakia's capital won the title also in advance and on Zilina's turf.
Bratislava's dominant performance started as early as the fifth minute when David Holman's free kick bounced off several players and the Slovenian midfielder Kenan Bajric was the last to redirect it into Samuel Petras' goal, opening the scoring for the visitors.
Thirty minutes later, Moha managed to penetrate Zilina's box and sent a quick short pass to the incoming Slovenian striker Alen Ozbolt who had no trouble putting Bratislava ahead by two.
Zilina managed to cut the deficit in the extra time of the first half when Patrik Myslovic's shot from the top of the box sailed past Dominik Greif, ending Bratislava's exceptional series without a conceded goal which lasted since October 2019.
Eight minutes into the second half, one of the most active players on the pitch, the unchallenged Moroccan striker Moha sent a well-placed shot from the left side and managed to put it past Petras to stretch the visitors' lead back to two.
Bratislava was already thinking about the upcoming title celebrations, but Zilina's Polish striker Dawid Kurminowski set the final score to 3-2 in yet another extra-time goal with an easy header.
"We knew what would be waiting for us here in Zilina but we wanted to win as we always strive to do. The home team started strong but we knew they would not be able to keep the tempo up in the second half. It is always nice to win the title against the top rival," said Bratislava's coach Jan Kozak after the game.
In the next fixture of the Championship Group, fourth-ranked Michalovce tried to break the spell and for the first time ever defeat last-ranked Ruzomberok but their 15th attempt turned out futile, as well.
The visitors opened the score in the 57th minute of a rain-soaked match by Ladislav Almasi's header after a set-piece.
Michalovce managed to defend at least one point for a draw after Greek defender Dimitrios Konstantinidis launched a shot from a sharp angle that bounced off the goalkeeper into the goal, 1-1.
Elsewhere, Dunajska Streda cemented its third place in the table, which guarantees the last spot in the Europa League Qualifiers by triumphing over Trnava 2-0 on Sunday.
Both the young Venezuelan striker Eric Ramirez and Croatian midfielder Andrija Balic scored similar goals from close range but from different sides of the box.
In the Relegation Group - the lower half of the league table where the last team after the final round of the Fortuna Liga season will be relegated to the second tier and the team in the penultimate spot will battle the winner of the second league for a spot in the next season of the premier league - Nitra made a significant step towards safety by defeating Senica 2-0, trailing the safe waters of the rankings by just two points now.
Nitra's first goal was pretty controversial as Samuel Sefcik's shot bounced off the top post down onto the ground and out of the goal in the second half but the assistant referee saw the ball go in and thus was the home team awarded the opener.
Senica's protests were in vain and Nitra confirmed the deserved victory with another goal, this time Sefcik served the ball to the Macedonian midfielder Milan Ristoski.
Trencin fortified its leading position in the Relegation Group with a close 3-2 victory in Zlate Moravce.
Trencin's 19-year-old midfielder Jakub Kadak became the center point of the match, scoring twice in the first half within 3 minutes to provide a comfortable two-goal cushion for the visitors.
Osman Bukari made it 3-0 in the second half and the game seemed decided but the home team almost succeeded in tying things up a couple of minutes later but fell one short in the end.
The worst team of the league Pohronie was close to winning its first match in a long time, leading 2-0 at half-time in Sered but the home team rallied in the second and tied the game after Sered' defenceman Martin Meciar assisted on the first goal and scored the second himself, concluding his great performance with a red card late in the game. Enditem