FK Crvena Zvezda 3-0 BSC Young Boys (agg: 5-2) Three headers delight the former European champions.
By Aleksandr Boskovic at FK Crvena Zvezda stadium
FK Crvena Zvezda reached the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League as headed goals from Bojan Miladinovic, Milan Dudic and Nikola Žigic secured a comfortable victory against Swiss runner-up BSC Young Boys in Belgrade. The Serbo-Montenegrin champions will now meet Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the next round with a place in the competition's group stage the prize for the winner.
In front of 45,000 spectators, Crvena Zvezda coach Ljubo Petrovic opted to make three changes to the side that scored twice late on to draw 2-2 in Switzerland, with Milan Biševac, Aleksandar Lukovic and Dejan Milovanovic all coming into the side while the suspended Dragan Stancic - who was sent off in Zurich - made way along with Marko Perovic and Goran Popov.
The home side were quickly into their stride, with Milovanovic forcing Young Boys goalkeeper Marco Wölfli into a brilliant reaction stop as early as the fifth minute. Thirteen minutes later Young Boys forward Francisco 'Neri' Souza missed from 12 metres and, to compound his woe, injured himself in the process and Patrick De Napoli came on in his place.
Crvena Zvezda chances
With Crvena Zvezda largely controlling possession and the visitors forced to rely on counterattacks, it was the home side who looked the more threatening. Striker Marko Pantelic cleverly worked space for himself inside the penalty area but failed to finish from ten metres. Žigic, who scored both Crvena Zvezda goals in the first leg, then missed a close-range header eight minutes before half-time.
Two minutes later, however, it was 1-0 as Serbo-Montenegrin Under-21 international defender Miladinovic scored his first goal for Crvena Zvezda, heading Aleksandar Lukovic's free-kick into the corner of the net, leaving Wölfli with no chance.
It was a similar story four minutes after the restart as midfield player Boško Jankovic's shot created the chance for Dudic to double the home side's advantage with another precise header into the corner of the net.
The goals visibly relaxed the home side, although Young Boys' Gabriel Urdaneta twice forced goalkeeper Vladimir Dišljenkovic into action and former Crvena Zvezda forward Boban Maksimovic produced some promising moments.
With progress looking increasingly likely, Petrovic opted to make three substitutions and one of them, midfield player Marko Perovic, created the third goal for Žigic in the 69th minute. Jankovic missed a chance from Žigic's long ball three minutes later, as Crvena Zvezda players and fans celebrated at the final whistle.