Round-up of action in Eastern Europe

November 28, 2005
By Zoran Milosavljevic

BELGRADE, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Champions Steaua Bucharest nosed ahead of city rivals Dinamo in Romania while Red Star Belgrade's advantage was slashed in Serbia and Montenegro.

Croatian champions Hajduk Split and Czech title holders Sparta Prague are both facing relegation battles in stark contrast to Dynamo Kiev's impressive run in Ukraine and CSKA Sofia's domination in Bulgaria.

CZECH REPUBLIC - Front-runners Slovan Liberec continued their excellent run with a 2-1 win at promoted Most thanks to striker Filip Holosko, who scored both goals.

Second-placed Teplice fell five points behind the leaders with a 0-0 draw at Jablonec, while Slavia Prague in third and Sigma Olomouc in fourth are a further three points adrift.

Sigma suffered a 2-1 setback against Jihlava while Slavia managed only a 0-0 draw with second-from-bottom Blsany.

Champions Sparta Prague added to their woes with a 3-2 defeat at Zlin that left them 12th in the 16-team first division, just five points off foot of the table.

ROMANIA - Champions Steaua Bucharest ground out a 2-1 win at Jiul Petrosani in an ill-tempered match to go top, a point ahead of traditional rivals Dinamo Bucharest, who slipped to a 2-0 defeat at neighbours National.

Banel Nicolita and Nicolae Dica struck in the second half for Steaua to cancel out Florin Mihat's opener for the home side, who had Mircea Gheorghe sent off for two yellow cards.

Australian striker Ryan Griffith scored two goals to give National a win in the city derby and make it a perfect debut for their Italian manager Cristiano Bergodi.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO - Red Star Belgrade lost 1-0 at Vojvodina Novi Sad and their lead at the top was halved to three points as champions Partizan Belgrade beat neighbours Obilic 4-2.

Ugandan midfielder Joseph Kizito grabbed a 73rd-minute winner for sixth-placed Vojvodina when he rounded off a swift break with a crisp shot from 14 metres.

Top scorer Srdjan Radonjic netted with a close-range finish and a superb volley to help Partizan to their fourth straight win under German manager Juergen Roeber.

CROATIA - Dinamo Zagreb came from behind to beat Slaven Belupo 4-1 and stay 11 points clear at the top.

Two goals by Ivan Bosnjak and one each from Hrvoje Cale and Eduardo da Silva in the last half hour gave Dinamo the win after Bojan Vrucina had fired the visitors ahead with a spectacular shot from the edge of the penalty box.

Rijeka stayed second with a 3-1 home win over Varteks Varazdin while beleaguered champions Hajduk Split plunged into the relegation playoff half of the table with a 1-0 defeat at Cibalia Vinkovci.

HUNGARY - Videoton Fehervar were held to a 2-2 home draw by Gyori ETO and had their lead cut to a point after Ujpest won 2-0 at MTK Budapest with two opportunist goals from striker Peter Rajczi.

Illes Sitku scored twice for Videoton but the visitors earned a point thanks to two goals by Krisztian Kenesei, who silenced the home crowd with a delightful lob from 20 metres in the 88th minute.

Central defender Gabor Bagoly netted a rare hat-trick for cup holders Sopron in their 5-1 rout of Tatabanya while Ferencvaros are still winless under new coach Imre Gellei after a 0-0 draw with champions Debrecen.

SLOVAKIA - Spartak Trnava beat Ruzomberok 2-1 in a top of the table clash to go three points ahead of them and champions Artmedia Bratislava, who kept up the pressure with a 2-0 win at mid-table Nitra.

First-half goals from Kamil Kopunek and Miroslav Kriss gave Spartak a 2-0 lead before Miroslav Bozok pulled one back for the visitors after the interval.

A fine solo effort from Blazej Vascak and a Pavol Stano header either side of the break gave Artmedia the win.

BULGARIA - Gijom Da Zaadi and Valentin Iliev were on target for unbeaten champions and leaders CSKA Sofia to give them a 2-1 win at city rivals Slavia and send them seven points clear of Levski Sofia.

Levski and fourth-placed Litex Lovech postponed their clash until Dec. 9 to prepare for this week's UEFA Cup ties, as both sides have a good chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

UKRAINE - Dynamo Kiev beat city rivals Arsenal 3-1 to extend their advantage at the top to three points after champions Shakhtar Donetsk were held to a 2-2 draw at Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Brazilian striker Kleber, Nigerian midfielder Aila Youssuf and Valentin Belkevich scored to give Dinamo their 14th league win in 17 matches, having drawn the other three.

Shakhtar led 2-1 at Dnipro after Julius Aghahowa and Mathuzalem although the home side salvaged a point through Olexnder Radchenko.

POLAND - Champions Wisla Krakow and bitter rivals Legia Warsaw stayed joint top after their 0-0 draw.

Third-placed Cracovia Krakow missed the chance to gain ground when a 3-1 defeat at Zaglebie Lubin left them five points adrift.

David Kalousek fired Zaglebie ahead while Michal Cablinski scored the second and turned provider for Maciej Iwanski.