Crvena zvezda - Novi Pazar 5:1 (3:0)
After a two week break in the championship and a few turbulent events at Marakana stadium, players of Red Star hosted the team of Novi Pazar. In the introduction to the game coach Slavisa Stojanovic announced a total offensive, assured that his players raised their fitness with quality work at Zlatibor and corrected shortcoming in their play. Krneta and Araujo, who made a debut in the red-white uniform, played together for the first time in the center of defensive line.
Stadium: FC Crvena zvezda
Referee: Danilo Grujic (Nis)
Scorers: Milijas in 8', Dauda in 19' and 45', Mrdja in 54' and 72' for Red Star, and Jelic in 74' for Novi Pazar.
RED STAR: Bajkovic, Vesovic, Krneta, Araujo, Mijailovic, Kovacevic, Milijas, Ninkovic, Pecnik, Mrdja, Dauda.
Substitutions: Vesic, Petkovic, Lazic, Gogic, Savicevic, Onyilo, Kasalica.
NOVI PAZAR: Supic, Đordjevic, Protic, Lotinac, Pekaric, Kecap, Rusmir, Obrovac, Arsenijevic, Lazarevic, Vidakovic.
Substitutions: Budakovic, Mutavdzic, Popovic, Jelic, Vukovic, Jevtovic, Nenadovic.
From the first whistle of referee Danilo Grujic players of the club from Ljutice Bogdana Street stormed towards the goal of Supic. In the 7th minute captain Milijas directed a missile towards the goal of Novi Pazar, but goalkeeper Supic boxed the ball out by using his ultimate efforts. During the same attack the ball came to Vesovic who made slalom by three defenders of the away team and earned a free kick at about 20 meters from the goal. There was no save this time against the captain’s left foot power shot and Red Star came to a lead at an early stage of the game. When thing go like this, hardly any team from the Serbian championship can match Red Star. Relieved of shackles the red-whites began dancing in the filed. All was starting from the restless Kovacevic, who cannot be referred to as a great talent anymore – Aleksandar Kovacevic grew into a great player. Vesovic and Pecnik from the sides, as well as Mijailovic and Ninkovic, were placing Dauda and Mrdja right in front of the goal. In such a setup not much was needed for the new goal. Mrdja assisted Pecnik, he waited for Dauda’s hint, made a cross to five meter box and it was 2:0 in the 20th minute. The only moment that cast a shadow on the game happened two minutes later when Nino Pekaric suffered a major injury before the goal of Bajkovic. After medical service came into the field the player was taken to the hospital for imaging. Football club Red Star wishes him a speedy recovery and comeback.
Until expiration of the 45th minute we note attempts of Mrdja and Dauda from the distance and a new goal of the Nigerian. Milijas, whose goal from the 8th minute was at the same time his 50th in the uniform of his favorite club in all competitions, took a corner kick in the second minute of injury time with surgical precision, Dauda out jumped his guard and turned the ball into the goal. As many evaluated, this was the best half of Slavisa Stojanovic’s players.
Apart from the teams switching sides, everything stayed the same in the second half. The red-whites play was safe, combative and motivated, although slightly slower in pace. As early as in the third minute of the second half Mrdja could have scored, but Supic defended the shot. What he failed to do in the 48th minute, speedy striker did in the 54th minute. After a crowd in the penalty box of the away team, Pecnik hit the goal post, the ball came to Ninkovic, he forwarded it to Mrdja, who shook the net of Novi Pazar from his second attempt. Regardless of the fact that the winner was already decided in the first 20 minutes, the players of the most decorated Serbian club did not slow the pace down. A new attack of the red-whites flashed in the 70th minute, Milijas pushed the ball into the space for the striker of the fourth goal, which was enough for the second assist of the captain and the second goal of Mrdja. The only time that the team from Novi Pazar threatened Bajkovic was 15 minutes before the end of the game when Petar Jelic managed to punish a small lack of attention of otherwise quite safe Krneta and Araujo and to reduce to, as it turned out, the final score of 5:1.
In the next period a series of difficult games awaits Red Star, starting from the next weekend and the match against Radnicki in Nis. However, with approach as in the tonight’s game, with combativeness and indisputable quality, Red Star can rightfully enter each game as a favorite. In accordance with the number of scored goals, the tonight’s mark for everything provided in the 90 minutes is excellent 5.