It wasn't enough tonight from Poli to come out clean after a match in which the white-violets tried to do well, but were too overwhelmed by the importance of the game to convert their ambition into success. Moreover, Partizan were more compact, more determined and had higher quality players, who - in the context of a mediocre Poli performance - didn't need more to take home the win.
Poli could've been 2:0 up in the first ten minutes, but Bucur's header and Magera's shot were saved, before Luchin wasn't able to convert following a corner kick, despite being just a few mteres away from goal. Then Partizan tried their luck with a shot from distance, by Tosic, and a close range effort, but both times Pantilimon saved well. In the 24th minute Bucur scored the first goal of the match, receiving a Karamyan pass on a counter-attack, before lobbing the Partizan goalie from around 30 meters! The one goal advantage lasted only a ten minutes, as the away squad were awarded a free-kick from a good position, which Tosic converted mercilessly. Before half-time, Partizan could have taken the lead, but Magera and Abiodun saved heroically in critical situations.
The second half continued as the first had ended while the Serbs were piling on the pressure. A 63 minute shot that hit the crossbar announced the third goal of the night, which followed a good run by Bogunovici and a powerful shot, almost saved by Pantilimon - but not quite. While Partizan turned down a gear, Poli just couldn't get going, and except for a shot by Magera and a mix up involving Abiodun in the penalty area, Uhrin's men just couldn't do more.
Poli: Pantilimon (6) - Bădoi (4,5), Luchin (6), Sretenovic (5,5), Milhazes (5) - Abiodun (5), Alexa (5,5), Magera (6,5), Art. Karamyan (5,5) - Rusic (5), Bucur (6).
Stancu (5,5), Goga (5,5) and Borbely replaced Bădoi, Rusic and Karamyan.
It's a sad loss for Poli, but not as sad as the sight of the one third empty. While there is still some hope left, I doubt that anything short of a miracle will save the white-violets in Belgrade.