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Rodić drives Zvezda forward

Crvena zvezda grabbed a 2-1 win on a terrible pitch in Subotica despite falling behind to Spartak. The home team took the lead just six minutes before the break, but Milan Rodić scored twice in a frantic four-minute period to give his team the lead.
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Ground: Gradski stadion, Subotica
Attendance: 2,500
Referee: Danilo Grujić
Goalscorers: Đuričin 39' - Rodić 42', 45'


Teams:

Spartak: Ostojić, Jočić, Kerkez, Tekijaški, Nikolić, Glavčić, Vukčević, Đuričin, Čečarić, Stojković, Dieng.
Substitutes: Jović, Lučić, Matijević, Dunđerski, Medina, Ćalasan, Petrov.

Crvena zvezda: Borjan, Gobeljić, Savić, Babić, Rodić, Jovičić, Milijaš, Krstičić, Srnić, Milić, Pešić.
Substitutes: Supić, Frimpong, Hajdin, Račić, L. Ilić, Adžić, Ben Nabouhane.

 

Media outlets in Serbia talked about the pitch in Subotica all week as question marks were all over this fixture. In the end, the officials gave it a go-ahead, but looking at it before kick-off, it was clear that there won't be much crisp passing in the far north of Serbia today.

That said, the teams actually produced a respectable performance for the fans who enjoyed some sunsine despite the freezing temperature.

As expected, Vladan Milojević made a number of changes to the team that played in Moscow a few days earlier. Nenad Milijaš captained the side, with Marko Gobeljić slotting in at right back and Srđan Babić partnered Vujadin Savić in the centre of defence. The line was led by Aleksandar Pešić with Nemanja Milić and Slavoljub Srnić providing some width on the flanks.

Our team had a perfect chance to take an early lead after Pešić was clipped in the box. The striker took the resulting penalty kick, but failed to hit the target as the ball flew over the bar, just grazing the crossbar.

Still, Milojević's men continued to search for the opener and came close on a couple of occasions. Nenad Milijaš had two free kicks well saved by Miloš Ostojić. Slavoljub Srnić tried with a header after a pinpoint Gobeljić cross, but couldn't direct it past in-form Ostojić.

The home team didn't create that much, but were still able to get in front on 39 minutes after a sweeping move that caught most of Zvezda's defence off position and allowed Đuričin to beat Milan Borjan from five meters out.

It was a wake-up call for the red-and-whites who continued to push forward and were awarded just three minutes after the opener. Nenad Milijaš whipped a wicked curling free kick from neat the right byline and Milan Rodić was on hand to nod it in at the far post and draw his team level.

A scoreline of 1-1 wouldn't be considered too bad given the circumstances, but it wasn't good enough for that man Milan Rodić. Spartak players failed to clear their lines following a scramble in the area and the ball rolled out nicely to the onrushing Rodić who volleyed it low and into the net despite Ostojić getting a slight touch on it. An action-filled six minutes of football saw three goals and it was the Belgrade team who were on top.

Milojević clearly wanted more and the players continued to attack after the restart. Pešić and Srnić combined, but couldn't get a shot away.

Nemanja Milić has had an attempt cleared off the line by a defender as Zvezda searched for what would probably be a crucial goal.

But the third goal never came as the home team came close twice in quick succession. Thankfully, Nemanja Nikolić missed the target on both occasions after doing well to find space for himself in Borjan's area.

Head Coach brought Uroš Račić, El Fardou Ben Nabouhane and Luka Adžić on late in the game as  the match started to lose some steam. Our players controlled the ball well and never looked like conceding a late leveller.

It finished 2-1 to the red-and-whites as the fans showed great signs of support for the team following this win and the midweek defeat in Moscow.

This was yet another win and three more points in the race for the league title on a tricky trip to a very good Spartak side in rather difficult conditions. Well done to the team!

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