Ground: Rajko Mitić Stadium
Referee: Vlado Glođović (Vrbas)
Goalscorers: Kanga 29', Plavšić 47', Ruiz 83'.
Crvena zvezda: Manojlović, Petković, Luković, Frimpong, Anđelković, Donald, Le Tallec, Kanga, Plavšić, Ruiz, Boakye.
Substitutes: Supić, Milijaš, Poletanović, Adžić, Milić, Vujaklija, Sikimić.
Javor: Đogatović, Ristovski, Karišik, Eliomar, Gafurov, Tripković, Milović, Amanović, Mitošević, Milanović, Cvetković.
Substitutes: Glintić, Tomanović, Kiković, Kolaković, Sević, Ilić, Maričić.
Miodrag Božović fielded the same XI as in our Wednesday's thriller at Vojvodina. The visit of Javor could have been taken lightly after gruelling couple of matches in the past week, but the players looked concentrated on the job at hand and didn't seem to expect the visitors to surrender. The visitors have to be given credit as they did their best to keep the ball and pass it around the first half. This resulted in a fairly interesting match even though it was the red-and-whites who've had most of the possession.
The champions of Serbia have had a few early chances, but none of them were good enough to break the deadlock. Boakye was unlucky with his attempt from a Petković cross, but Zvezda were ahead soon enough. Dušan Anđelković chased a ball and crossed from the byline for Guélor Kanga to volley home. His low shot beat Đogatović to make it 1-0 on 29 minutes.
Zvezda continued to attack patiently, mostly building moves from the flanks, with Srđan Plavšić proving a handful for the Javor defenders. The result didn't change until the break, however.
Javor players looked dangerous on the break, but their chances of getting anything out of this match seemed all but on just two minutes into the second period. Petković crossed low from the right flank and Plavšić got a goal he deserved with a simple finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
Richmond Boakye worked hard and got himself in good positions on a couple of occasions, but he was simply unlucky to get on the scoresheet. Zvezda fans showed great appreciation for the Ghanaian striker nevertheless.
John Jairo Ruiz also looked like frustrated in the first half, but he improved as the game headed into final minutes. And he looked relieved and proud when he curled a beautiful shot into the top corner of Đogatović's net from the edge of the area. He then celebrated by tucking the match ball under his shirt and dedicating the goal to his wife.
There was still time for Filip Manojlović to produce a classy save late on and help his team preserve a much-needed clean sheet.
The match ended 3-0 with Crvena zvezda good value for their win on a cold and wet day in Belgrade.