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Boakye strikes again

Richmond Boakye's late strike secured three points for the red-and-whites in a drab and nervy match at FK Zemun. The Ghanaian striker combined well with Pešić and Kanga to finally break the hosts' defensive wall.
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Ground: Gradski stadion
Attendance: 3,500
Referee: Bojan Nikolić
Goalscorer: Boakye 81'

Teams:

Zemun: Šaranov, Lečić, Cvetković, Dimić, Lasickas, Luković, Milutinović, Kiso, Trajković, Vučić, Mladenović.
Substitutes: Milošević, Asani, Beljić, Bubanja, Marković, Vuković, Đalović.

Crvena zvezda: Borjan, Gobeljić, Frimpong, Babić, Anđelković, Donald, Krstičić, Kanga, Srnić, Pešić, Boakye.
Substitutes: Supić, Rodić, Milijaš, L. Ilić, Adžić, Radonjić, Milić.


Head Coach fielded a somewhat makeshift defensive line, with the likes of Stojković, Savić and Le Tallec all rested. But centre back pairing of Babić and Frimpong enjoyed a rather quiet afternoon as the hosts rarely looked like putting Borjan under pressure.

Newly-promoted Zemun side fought bravely, but most of their efforts were concentrated on protecting their own net.

Milojević's men were trying to make the breakthrough and were probing the home defence, but all their efforts were from outside the area. Guélor Kanga and Mitchell Donald came close with their shots, but Bojan Šaranov did will, especially with the Dutchman's 30-meter rocket that was going in just under the bar.

Zemun's only real chance was an early Vučić header after a 3rd-minute corner that flew just wide. The battling hosts rarely crossed the halfway line, especially after the break and were restricted to a couple of solo runs.

Second half saw Crvena zvezda pin the hosts in their own area on many occasions, but the final ball wasn't going through with defenders sitting very deep.

Vladan Milojević was looking to add a bit more pace to his team, so he reached for a double substitution, sending Radonjić and Rodić on for Srnić and Anđelković. It was Nemanja Radonjić who drove Zemun defenders to panic with some piercing runs and trickery, but finishing let him and Pešić down a couple of times. Home goalkeeper Šaranov was inspired and he kept Pešić's shot out as the match entered its final stages.

Nenad Milijaš was brought on against his old club in place of Krstičić and the veteran midfielder added some calmness and direction to Zvezda attacks.

The visitors, backed by their loud supporters, finally broke the deadlock with less than 10 minutes remaining. Kanga played a forward pass to Pešić, the big striker evaded a defender's challenge and squared low to Richmond Boakye who found the net from close range. The Ghanaian striker again showed great timing and off the ball movement go position himself perfectly in the box.

Zemun tried to mount a dramatic comeback, but the red-and-whites passed the ball around with confidence and their lead never looked in danger. The final whistle was marked with relief and celebrations as the team and the fans look forward to Thursday's European test and a trip to London to face Arsenal.

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