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Voždovac undone by a Krstičić winner

Crvena zvezda opened a 14-point gap at the top of the Superliga table with a dramatic win over a resilient Voždovac side at Rajko Mitić Stadium. The red-and-whites were 1-0 up for most of the second half thanks to Milan Rodić’s opener, but still needed Nenad Krstičić to pop up with a winner after a late equalizer threatened to spoil the party.

Ground: Rajko Mitić Stadium
Attendance: 10,300
Referee: Novak Simović
Goalscorers: Rodić 46', Krstičić 90' – Pavlović 88'


Crvena zvezda: Borjan, Stojković, Le Tallec, Babić, Rodić, Donald, Krstičić, Srnić, Radonjić, Ben Nabouhane, Pešić.
Substitutes: Supić, Savić, Gobeljić, Račić, L. Ilić, Adžić, Joveljić.

Voždovac: Čupić, Gajić, Stuparević, Bulatović, Mihajlov, Ješić, Pavlović, Srećković, Gavrić, Duronjić, Ćirković.
Substitutes: Knežević, Zlatković, Stanković, Milutinović, Pavićević, Pavlovski, Stojanović.

It was a really competitive match at Serbia’s biggest stadium on a cold Saturday afternoon. Voždovac were higly disciplined, but wouldn’t sit back as teams usually do when they play Crvena zvezda away. Vladan Milojević expected a stern test and picked a very strong starting eleven, with only Vujadin Savić and Branko Jovičić getting a bit of rest.

The first half failed to offer goals, but Zvezda came close on a couple occasions, notably when Slavoljub Srnić flashed a header high and the lively Nemanja Radonjič causing havoc on the left wing before seeing his low shot saved.

Voždovac Head Coach Miloš Veselinović did well to prepare his team and they did well to keep Zvezda’s attacking full backs out of the action.

But it was left-back Milan Rodić who’s got the opening goal less than a minute into second period. Aleksandar Pešić held the ball up nicely and laid it off nicely for the onrushing Rodić who squeezed it in first time to the delight of home fans. That’s third straight goal for the former Zenit defender after his last weekend’s brace at Spartak.

At that point it looked like Zvezda are going to run away with the points, but the red-and-whites failed to double the lead despite bossing the game in the following 20 minutes or so.

As the match wore on, it looked like the visitors were going to get something out of the match as they pressed forward with more determination and intent. And they seemed to have snatched a point when Pavlović seized an opportunity after a scramble in the home area and beat Borjan with a close-range effort. It looked like an offside position, but the goal stood and Zvezda faced the prospect of spilling two points at home on a day before the club’s 73rd anniversary.

But Vladan Milojević’s men showed great character and winning mentality to find a winner with time running out. Filip Stojković crossed nicely for Nenad Krstičić and the midfielder did well to glance a perfect header into the far corner and beyond Čupić. Needless to say, the celebrations were wild as the win meant Crvena zvezda were now handsome 14 points ahead at the top of the Superliga table.

There won’t be much time to rest and enjoy the view of the league standings as we face a tough trip on Wednesday with Vojvodina the opposition in Novi Sad.



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