Football: Maribor at Top as Season Passes Halfway Stage

By , 21 Dec 2020, 16:09 PM Sport
Football: Maribor at Top as Season Passes Halfway Stage Photo: Maribor’s Facebook page

The Prva Liga Telekom Slovenije reached the halfway mark last week, with heavyweights Maribor enjoying a slender lead at the summit of the table.

The 15-time Slovenian top-flight championships needed to come back from behind twice in their final encounter of 2020 on Sunday evening, rescuing a 2-2 draw with second-from bottom Aluminij to preserve their four-match unbeaten run.

Hosts Maribor were pegged back 22 minutes into the game as Alen Kranjc was played through on goal, forcing a smart save from goalkeeper Azbe Jug who could only parry the ball into the path of David Flakus Bosilj who passed the ball into an open net to give the visitors a surprise lead.

Aluminij’s 1-0 advantage lasted barely a minute as Jan Repas’ stunning strike from outside the box found the top corner to draw his side level.

‘The Purples’ found themselves a goal behind once more on the half-hour mark when, after conceding a free-kick just outside the penalty area, Roko Prša’s left-footed thunderbolt crashed in off the crossbar to put Aluminij ahead once more.

The first-half goals continue to rain in at Stadion Ljudski Vrt when seven minutes before the break, Denis Klinar’s pinpoint cross from the right flank was powerfully headed home by Rudi Požeg as he netted his fifth goal of the campaign.

In the second stanza, neither side’s defence was breached again as the spoils were shared in a 2-2 draw, with Maribor’s lead after 19 games cut to three points at the summit of the standings, while Aluminij remain in the relegation play-off position in ninth place.

Maribor have now won eight and drawn one of their ten previous games, the only blip on their record coming at the start of December when they were beaten 2-0 by capital club Olimpija.

Olimpija have been unbeaten since that clash, their 2-0 win over Gorica on Saturday leaving them breathing down Maribor’s necks in the title race, with third-placed Mura just two points further back following their 3-1 win over last season’s surprise league champions Celje.

Celje have struggled this term, and after three losses in four games towards the end of November, seemingly bounced back with consecutive wins over Gorica and Koper, yet the loss against Mura leaves them in a precarious 7th spot on the table.

Koper emerged victorious in an entertaining seven-goal thriller on Saturday, putting four past Tabor in a 4-3 victory which leaves them in fourth place on the log with just over half the season completed.

League table.jpg

Table: Twitter @PrvaLigaSi

After 19 games played in the current 2020/21 season, Koper forward Nardin Mulahusejnović leads the goalscoring charts with nine goals so far, closely followed by Domžale’s Dario Kolobaric and Olimpija duo Dorde Ivanović and Andres Vombergar with eight goals apiece.

The Slovenian league will now recess for the Christmas break, with the league’s return date set for January 20.

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