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Croatia, News, Serbia

Balkan Wrap


Partizan got off to a great start in its Champions League Quest with a convincing 4:0 win over Macedonian Champions Skendija in the first leg of Rd2 Qualifying. New signing Eduardo opened the scoring at the start of the second half before Vladimir Stojkovic saved a penalty. Zvonimir Vukic made it 2:0 and a fantastic solo run from Scepovic made it 3:0, the fourth was an own goal. The win gives Partizan a comfortable lead going into the second leg next week inSkopje.


In the Europa League Rad suffered an unlucky loss at home to Greek side Olympiakos Volos. A late goal gave the visiting side an important away goal. Rad can however be proud of its performance against a more formidable opponent. Vojvodina is all but assured a place in the last Qualifying Round following a 2:0 win away to Liechtenstein side Vaduz which competes in the Swiss 2nd division. Goals from Omaru and Brana Ilic have the red and whites from Novi Sad a comfortable buffer ahead of the 2nd leg.


Red Star Belgrade takes on either Belorussian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk or Lativian side Ventsplils in the last qualifying round. It was also a very turbulent week for the Serbian giants with captain Milan Vilotic suspended by manager Robert Prosinecki for a lack of discipline.

“As long as I’m the manager of Red Star, Milan Vilotic will not wear the red and white jersey. He has a on a number of times been very immature towards myself and the coaching staff and he is no longer the captain or will he ever play for the club as long as I’m the manager.” A very upset Robert Prosineck said.

Red Star has not lost a match on it pre-season tour in Austria and has only conceded one goal in six friendly encounters. The most impressive wins were over Austrian side Mattesburg and Israeli side Ashdod.



Dinamo Zagreb got of to a flyer with a 3:0 win over Azerbaijani side Neftchi in Uefa Champions League Qualifying in front of 38,000 fans in a packed Maksimir Stadium. The Croatian Champions dominated from the get go and were dually rewarded with Captain Milan Badelj’s fine strike. New signing Ivan Krstanovic had a debut to remember with a double for his new club. The Bosnian has already proven to be a major signing for the country’s biggest club. Krstanovic was the 1HNL top goal-scorer last season and the tall striker will hope to do the same come the new season. The large crowd number was due to the tickets costing only 13 euro cents which is as cheap as tickets get. The support from the crowd was enormous for the club and it is believed the ticket prices will continue to be supporter friendly but not as cheap as 13 cents.


“We played a great match and secured a positive result which gives us a nice advantage to take into the second leg. We have to finish off the job inAzerbaijan. I’ve always wanted to play for Dinamo and I’m really happy the stadium was packed with our fans and I scored two goals in front of them, I’m also ecstatic that my parents came to watch me for the first time and I treated them with a double, why wouldn’t I be crying?” New striker Ivan Krstanovic said following the match.

Hajduk Split will take on Stoke City in the last Qualifying Round of the Europa League. The English side was one of the clubs Hajduk wanted to avoid in the draw. It will be a real tough encounter for the Croats but one the fans can be treated to and a real test ahead of the Croatian League. On the 23rd the whites fromSplitwill take on European Champions Barcelona in a friendly match a the Poljud stadium. City rivals RNK Split will take on English side Fulham in the last round of the Europa League. That is if they can overcome Slovenian side Domzale which Split defeated 2:1 inSlovenia.



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