Grant dedicates Partizan victory to Ivanov

Partizan Belgrade coach Avram Grant hailed the team's Bulgaria defender Ivan Ivanov who decided to play in the 2-0 win at Hajduk Kula on Sunday after his mother died less than 24 hours earlier.

"It is a huge loss for him, he was told he could miss the game but he opted to play and showed how brave and committed to the team he is," former Chelsea manager Grant told reporters.

"The players and staff decided to dedicate this victory to him," said Grant, who steered the Premier League club to the 2008 Champions League final.

The win took some of the pressure off the Israeli, who came under fire after drawing two league games against modest rivals and suffered a 2-0 defeat by bitter city foes Red Star in the first leg of their Serbian Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

Winger Nemanja Tomic converted a penalty and rifled in a superb shot with the outside of his foot to keep champions and league leaders Partizan six points clear of Red Star, who beat visiting Borac Cacak 2-0 on Saturday.

"It's always a good feeling to win, we didn't play particularly well but our team spirit prevailed and it's a good result given that we missed both left-backs through injury while two other first-choice players were half-fit," Grant said.