Ground: Rajko Mitić Stadium
Referee: Nenad Đokić (Užice)
Goalscorers: Kanga 36' (pen), Boakye 87'
Crvena zvezda: Manojlović, Petković, Le Tallec, Luković, Milošević, Račić, Milijaš, Kanga, Ristić, Plavšić, Vujaklija.
Substitutes: Kahriman, Poletanović, Srnić, Ruiz, Adžić, Sikimić, Boakye.
Borac; Aleksić, Obradović, Janičić, Sajčić, Kostić, Drašković, Thiago Silva, Mihajlović, Zoćević, Jovanović, Marković.
Substitutes: Mišić, Anđelković, Savić, Marčić, Ignjatijević, Živanović, Punoševac.
In all honesty it was an uneventful first half at Rajko Mitić Stadium in the sunshine, but the reshuffled Red Star team did just enough to get a slender lead before the break. But before the hosts could open the scoring, our talented goalkeeper Filip Manojlović showed his class by producing a classy save after a scramble in the box.
Srđan Plavšić was brought down in the box ten minutes before the break and Guélor Kanga dispatched a classy penalty into the roof of Aleksić’s net.
It was a lively game after the break thankfully and both teams looked more determined to attack. There was an attempt by Nenad Milijaš in his first start in third spell at the club, but it went over the bar. Srđan Vujaklija’s goal was rightfully disallowed for offside.
Miodrag Božović brought on Boakye and Adžić, as well as John Jairo Ruiz, who’s just regaining match fitness after his injury.
Borac had a great chance to draw level on 84 minutes, but Zvezda defenders threw their bodies on the line and managed to block a goal-bound effort by the visitors. It was a huge let-off for the hosts.
Just minutes later John Ruiz was fouled in the area and referee Đokić pointed to the spot. The Costa Rican himself took the resulting penalty kick, but Mišić saved it. However, Richmond Boakye showed his predator instinct and tucked the rebound home to secure a victory for his team.
The match ended 2-0 and Crvena zvezda now go into the play-off stage with a three-point lead.
Next up for the red-and-whites is an Eternal Derby on Tuesday when second-placed Partizan arrive to Rajko Mitić Stadium for a match that could prove decisive in the title race.
Come on, Zvezda!