Week 25: Partizani wins against Elbasani thanks to Rizvanolli

Partizani got a very important win today against Elbasani at “Selman Stermasi” in Tirana in the 25th round of the First Division Championship. A 1-0 win was enough for “The Reds” to get the full three points.

The victory was courtesy of Erion Rizvanolli who scored the only goal of the match in the 40th minute after a cross by Rrahman Hallaci, combined with a defensive mistake from the visiting team. This was the 6th goal for the striker in 9 matches that he’s played since arriving during the winter transfer window.

Partizani played a good first half in a stadium with more than 4000 fans, a rare view for the First Division. There were also a few visiting fans.

Both teams started slowly in the first few minutes, but soon after Partizani went in attack while Elbasani was defending with numbers and trying to surprise the home team with their counterattacks. Partizani created a few chances and finally they got their goal in the 40th minute with Rizvanolli.

Rizvanolli had another chance earlier after combining with Buna, but the striker couldn’t finalize.

In the second half it’s Elbasani who takes charge, looking for the equalizer, while Partizani defends, occasionally looking for the second goal. The offensive game of Partizani takes a knock when Artan Karapici gets injured and Maringlen Kapaj comes in. Head coach Haxhiu looks to protect the lead as he takes out a striker, Sokol Ishka and brings in a midfielder, Ardian Beqiri.

In the last few minutes Elbasani pushes up with all their players. Haxhiu tries to waste some time while also making his team more defensive with another substitution, bringing in Florian Braho for the goalscorer. It’s Braho who almost gets a goal a minute later, but his shot is deflected. From the corner Maho also has a chance.

In injury time Maho has another great chance but couldn’t put the ball in the net. Elbasani gives Partizani fans a scare in the 92nd minute when a shot is cleared by keeper Mustafa. After 4 minutes of injury time, Partizani can finally celebrate.

Partizani gets the win against Elbasani and now has 48 points, same as third placed Lushnja and only one less point than second placed Elbasani. This was a crucial win for the team because any other result could have jeopardized even the 4th place in the standings.

Now Partizani faces another challenge as they play away at Lushnja in the 26th round.