Neftchi frustrate Partizan
Partizan Belgrade were unable to find a way through against Neftchi as the Azerbaijan outfit came away with a point.
Last Updated: 20/09/12 11:05pm
Partizan Belgrade were unable to find a way through against Neftchi as the Azerbaijan outfit came away with a point from this evening's Europa League Group H opener in Serbia.
The hosts applied plenty of pressure but could not break down the resistance of their opponents, who are the first team from their country to play in the group stages of a UEFA competition.
Partizan had the better of the early stages and made a succession of unsuccessful attempts on the visitors' goal, with Aleksandar Mitrovic shooting wide to the left, Aleksandar Milijkovic drawing a comfortable save from goalkeeper Sasa Stamenkovic with a 30-yard strike and Nemanja Tomic hitting an effort off-target.
Neftchi had their first shot on the quarter-hour mark, midfielder Julius Wobay seeing it blocked by Partizan defender Milos Ostojic, but the Baku team had to divert a Mitrovic effort to safety soon after, defender Igor Mitreski the man to make the intervention.
Partizan midfielder Sasa Markovic then shot wide before their goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic was called into action to catch Javid Imamverdiyev's strike from a Flavinho corner.
The two sides continued trading goal attempts for the rest of the half without breaking the deadlock, Nicolas Canales and Eric Ramos trying their luck for Neftchi and Sasa Markovic missing in between.
Partizan looked to turn the screw after the restart, with Sasa Markovic shooting over, Tomic striking wide and Mitrovic volleying too high.
Then with just over 15 minutes to go, Tomic swung a corner into the box where Stefan Scepovic could only head it to the wrong side of the post.
Further Partizan attempts followed in the final few minutes, Stamenkovic saving the first of them from Lazar Markovic.
Tomic then shot deep into stoppage time but it sailed wide, with an historic point for the visitors being confirmed seconds later.