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Season review: Montenegro

Published: Friday 17 June 2011, 10.39CET
FK Mogren won the title on head-to-head record but celebrations were dampened three days later with a gruelling shoot-out defeat by holders FK Rudar Pljevlja in the Montenegrin Cup final.
by Aleksandar Radović
from Podgorica
Season review: Montenegro
Mogren crack open the champagne after securing their second Montenegrin title ©Vijesti
Published: Friday 17 June 2011, 10.39CET

Season review: Montenegro

FK Mogren won the title on head-to-head record but celebrations were dampened three days later with a gruelling shoot-out defeat by holders FK Rudar Pljevlja in the Montenegrin Cup final.

FK Mogren were crowned champions as the 2010/11 title went down to the wire. Montenegro's biggest club, FK Budućnost Podgorica, were runners-up, finishing without a trophy for a third season running as FK Rudar Pljevlja won a second Montenegrin Cup in a row.

Champions: FK Mogren
The Budva club are now the only side to have won more than one league title in Europe's newest nation state, but they only outstripped Budućnost on head-to-head record in the final reckoning. Five points clear at the winter break, a sloppy start to the spring signalled the end of coach Stevan Mojsilović and replacement Branislav Milačić got them back on track despite a 2-0 loss to Budućnost in the penultimate round. "I was afraid my players would be tired and emotionally unprepared for a must-win game," conceded Milačić. He need not have worried: his side beat FK Mornar 2-0.

Cup final: FK Rudar Pljevlja 2-2 FK Mogren (Rudar win 5-4 on pens)
Rudar could not defend their double, but the Montenegrin Cup brought some consolation. Ardijan Djokaj put Mogren ahead from the spot on 15 minutes after Rudar goalkeeper Miljan Mijatović was sent off for a foul on Petar Grbić. Nedjeljko Vlahović (53) responded before Grbić's dismissal evened up the numbers. Veselin Bojić put Rudar ahead with a penalty in extra time, only for Marko Ćetković's stunning shot to prompt penalties where Igor Matić was the only player to miss.

European places
FK Mogren – UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
FK Rudar Pljevlja – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
FK Budućnost Podgorica – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
FK Zeta – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round

Player of the year: Petar Grbić (FK Mogren)
The official award is handed out at the end of the calendar year, but – despite his cup final dismissal – Mogren captain Grbić is a strong candidate. The 22-year-old's pace cracked apart opposition defences, with the attacking midfielder scoring five and setting up ten more in the league. He won his first senior cap in a 1-0 friendly win against Uzbekistan in March.

One to watch: Stefan Mugoša (FK Budućnost Podgorica)
A breakthrough season as a first-team regular brought the best out of 19-year-old striker Mugoša, who scored seven league goals and represented Montenegro at U19 and U21 levels during the course of the season. His emergence has not gone unnoticed, with a number of clubs jostling for his signature.

Surprise package: FK Mladost Podgorica
A small but significant success saw the club that unearthed Dejan Savićević, Predrag Mijatović and current ACF Fiorentina playmaker Stevan Jovetić earn a respectable fifth place on their return to the top division after a two-season absence. Miodrag Vukotić's young team had their off days, but there were ultimately more ups than downs.

Leading scorer: Ivan Vuković, FK Budućnost Podgorica (20)

Number: 4
Rudar are the most successful club in the independent Montenegro, with four trophies; three cups (2006/07, 2009/10 and 2010/11) and one league championship (2009/10).

Relegated: OFK Bar, FK Mornar

Promoted: FK Bokelj, FK Berane

Quote
"I don't have words to describe how happy I am. The most important thing is that I'm still alive. I'm not young any more and I was afraid that I would have a heart attack."
Mogren coach Milačić, 62, celebrates a breathless finish to the season

Last updated: 08/07/11 16.46CET

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