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News, Serbia

Partizan and Red Star: Europa League hopes

Partizan’s Champions League dreams are over following a 3:2 aggregate loss to Belgian Champions Genk. The 2nd leg inBelgrade was played in front of 30,000 fans but even they couldn’t help their side. The match ended 1:1 with Partizan taking the lead through Nenad Tomic but Aleksandar Miljkovic’s handball gifted Genk with a spot kick which was easily converted by Vossen. The black and whites had more of the ball but their aging midfield was not up to it once more and this is the main reasonSerbia’s Champions will not be playing in the group stages for a second consecutive season. Partizan will take on Irish side Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League Play-off. The second leg will be inBelgrade and the black and whites will fancy their chances in progressing to the Group Stages of the Europa League.

Red Star handed a football lesson to Latvian side Ventspils in the return leg in a packed Marakana stadium. The Red and Whites won 7:0 in a real football clinic, it was the clubs biggest win in the 21st century and the third biggest in European matches. Red Star dominated from the get go and it didn’t take long to get the ball into the net, the first was an own goal by Martinez but what was to follow was amazing. Andrija Kaludjerovic made it 2:0 and youngster Darko Lazovic’s 30 metre free kick was unstoppable. Colombian Borja scored a cheeky placed chip just before half time to make it 4:0 at the break. At the start of the 2nd half Nenad Kovacevic had the chance to score from the spot but his kick hit the post. Only a few minutes later and Kaludjerovic netted his second and the clubs fifth. Kaludjerovic was then replaced by new signing Mazenga and it didn’t take long for the Brazilian to make an impact as he scored the teams sixth. The last and teams seventh was another cracker by Borja who struck a devastating 20 yard shot into the back of the net. The Red Star faithful was treated to a real spectacle, something they haven’t seen in years. Red Star will take on French side FC Rennes in the Europa League Play off. The first match will be at the Marakana which is expected to be full to its capacity of 56,000. A record was broke during the Ventspils match as 16 year old Filip Jankovic became the youngest player to wear the red and white shirt in the clubs history. He was one day younger than Dejan Stankovic who made his debut in 1995. Hopefully he will have at least half of the career Stankovic has had.

“I’m delighted with my teams performance, to score seven goals against anyone is amazing. We came out to give this amazing crowd something to cheer about and I believe they got more than they came out to see. The hard pre-season trainings are slowly paying off but we still have a long way to go.Rennesis a good club but I believe we have what it takes to get past them and enter the Group Stages which will be a huge boost for us and our fans.” – Red Star Manager Robert Prosinecki



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