Doncics five star performance Published on: 25-10-2018

Serbian born, Danilo Doncic was born on August 20, 1969 in Vranje, but he spent most of his early life in Belgrade.

He started his football career as a raw youngster with FK Beograd before he joined his first professional team, FK Rudar Prijedor in the Yugoslav Second Division.

Doncic continued his professional career with FK Napredak, FK Kresevac and FK Cukaricki before returning to FK Beograd. Then, in 1996 he came to Malta to play for Valletta with whom he won all the honours that the local game could offer.

After his adventure with Valletta, Doncic left Malta to play for Bulgarian club, Lokomotiv Sofia and Portuguese club Imortal DC before he returned to Malta to play for Sliema Wanderers.

Doncic played many great games in Malta. A prolific goal-scorer who was always hovering near the top of the goal-scorers list in all the seasons he played in Malta.

One game which I remember well was the 2002-03 FA Trophy semi-final against my home-town club, Hibernians.

Sliema had just been crowned champions and this was Hibs’ last chance of winning a place in Europe.

Hibs’ hopes however, were dashed by the goal-scoring prowess of Doncic who chose this game to give one of his best ever goalscoring performances.

The first part of the game was evenly balanced but midway through the first-half, Jeffrey Chetcuti delivered a teasing cross inside the area and timing his run to perfection, Doncic headed home Sliema’s opener.

A couple of minutes after the break, Peter Pulicino tried his luck from a good position, but his effort was cleared. The ball however, fell to Roderick Baldacchino who quickly passed to Essien Mbong to side-foot the ball home.

It was all Hibs now as Sliema did not seem able to summon enough energy to turn the tide but somehow, they survived.

Then, when a Hibs’ goal seemed imminent, an Orosco Anonam’s shot was partially cleared by the Hibs’ defenders. The ball ran kindly to the waiting feet of Doncic who shot low past Mario Muscat.

Hibs were stunned but their disappointment did not last long. On they came and almost immediately, Murphy Akanji tipped away Andrew Cohen’s curling effort.

A few minutes later, Aaron Xuereb rose above friend and foe to head a corner-kick which seemed destined for the back of the net. The ball however, scrapped the paint off the cross-bar.

Hibs however, were not to be denied and their efforts were rewarded when they were given a penalty for a clear-cut handling infringement. Cesar Paiber took the kick and hit the ball low past Akanji to take the game to extra-time.

Five minutes into the first half of extratime Brian Said missed a sitter when he headed a cross just wide from a cornerkick. Then, Muscat made a great save to deny Doncic.

This intervention started the Doncic show. The clock marked 20 minutes of extra-time when Carlo Mamo crossed towards Doncic who rose high to head home past Muscat.

There was now no stopping Doncic as he tapped home goal number four from a perfect Kevin Sammut pass.

This goal broke completely Hibs’ spirits. They threw in the towel and Anonam added to their misery with a hard shot which rifled past Muscat to make the final score 5-2.

This score was harsh on Hibs who outplayed the champions for long periods but as had been the case many times that season they were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal.

Of course, they were also unlucky to find Doncic in such a devastating mood. Which in my opinion really made all the difference.

Source - Times of Malta