Opportunist goals by
South Americans Evandro and Cristian Borja in each half gave Red
Star Belgrade a 2-0 win over Borac Cacak in a lively Serbian Cup
final on Wednesday.
The victory rescued an otherwise poor season for the 1991
European Cup winners, who saw bitter city foes Partizan clinch a
record fifth successive league title last month with three games
Their nerves showed straight from the kick off as Marko
Pavicevic's second-minute shot from 12 metres cannoned off the
underside of the crossbar after an error by Red Star defender
Borac, who have been relegated to the second division,
squandered another gilt-edged chance when Jovan Radivojevic
missed a gaping goal after losing his footing, having rounded
Red Star keeper Boban Bajkovic.
Brazilian midfielder Evandro then struck against the run of
play, steering home a flick-on after a miscued cross from the
left which allowed Red Star's Croatian coach Robert Prosinecki
to breathe a sigh of relief.
Striker Darko Lazovic twice came close against his former
club in the second half before Colombian forward Cristian Borja
took a loose ball in his stride and side-footed it past the
keeper to send 15,000 Red Star fans into raptures.
Jubilant supporters invaded the pitch after the final
whistle and stripped many of the players of their kits to
celebrate Red Star's first trophy under Prosinecki, who took
over the debt-ridden club in 2010.
It was Red Star's 24th national cup to add to 25 league
titles and Prosinecki, a key player of the 1991 generation which
tasted European glory, was upbeat after lifting the silverware.
"It was a spectacular final thanks to a jam-packed stadium,
the fantastic atmosphere lifted us after a shaky start and I can
only salute my players for finishing the season on a high," the
43-year old told a news conference.
"Winning the cup will be a real impetus for us next season,
when this youthful team full of talents should mature and have a
go at the league title.
"I am really delighted that we handled the pressure well and
overjoyed with my first trophy here as coach."
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