Thursday May 26, 2005
Zeleznik Belgrade stun Red Star to win Cup
BELGRADE: Zeleznik Belgrade secured their first Serbia and Montenegro Cup after a dramatic 1-0 win against holders Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.
The unfancied side from the outskirts of Serbia's capital stunned the former European Cup winners with a last-minute header from striker Dejan Radjenovic, who took advantage of slack marking after the ball bounced across the face of goal.
Zeleznik had Zoran Djuraskovic sent off 10 minutes from time following a touchline scuffle.
ON A HIGH: Dejan Radjenovic (right) of Zeleznik jubilates after scoring the winning goal for his team against Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) in last minutes of Serbia-Montenegro's national Cup final match on Tuesday. -APpic
“I am at a loss for words to describe how overwhelmed I am with what the lads have done here today,” said Zeleznik manager Cedomir Djoincevic.
“It takes some effort to beat Red Star in a Cup final, especially after having a player sent off.”
Goalkeeper Oliver Kovacevic, who marshalled Zeleznik's defence superbly, added: “This is just reward for our courage, perseverance and commitment.”
Red Star dominated the first half and missed the best chance shortly before the interval, Adrijan Djokaj heading wide from close range.
Midfielder Vladimir Mudrinic came close with a thundering volley in the 52nd minute and substitute Marko Perovic hit the post for Red Star before Djuraskovic struck to delight the vastly outnumbered Zeleznik contingent in the 7,000 crowd.
The result gives Zeleznik a UEFA Cup berth and leaves Red Star empty handed from a disappointing season in which they surrendered the league title to city rivals Partizan and made an early exit from Europe. – Reuters