Champions League Dream Over for Dila Gori

Dila Gori, Georgia's last remaining representatives in this season's European competitions, were knocked out of Champions League qualification by Serbia's Partizan Belgrade following a 2-0 defeat at the Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium on July 21.

On a sweltering afternoon and in front of a capacity 8,000 crowd, Dila began the match a goal down from the first leg in Belgrade last week.

The Georgians began promisingly with midfielder Lasha Gvalia giving the visitors a scare shortly after the half-hour mark as his rasping long-range shot flew inches wide of the Partizan post.

Soon after, a hitherto excited home crowd were silenced when midfielder Darko Brasanac lashed an unstoppable shot past Dila goalkeeper Oleksiy Shevchenko.

Dila then needed three goals to progress, a mission they never looked like accomplishing with the Serbs more comfortable on the ball and the Georgians lacking coherence in attack.

Shevchenko's outstanding save from Partizan's Cameroonian striker Aboubakar in the 58th minute kept Partizan from completely killing the tie.

However, six minutes later the Cameroonian did get the better of his Ukrainian opponent, side-footing the ball into the net after a flowing move.

A dismal day for the Gori club then hit its nadir when summer acquisition Otar Martsvaladze capped an uninspiring performance by arguing with home supporters.

It was the most lively the striker had looked all afternoon, and he had to be restrained by teammates and was ultimately yellow carded for his unsavory and unprofessional antics.

After the match, Partizan's players celebrated by singing with the 100 or so travelling supporters and the Serbian champions move on to play either Steaua Bucharest or Trencin in the next round.
For Dila, and all other Georgian clubs, focus switches solely to domestic matters well before the end of July.

Alastair Watt

22 July 2015 11:29