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Žigic shines in Zvezda stroll

FK Crvena Zvezda 5-0 FC Nistru Otaci Nikola Žigic hits hat-trick as Zvezda crush Moldovan visitors.

FK Crvena Zvezda effectively booked their place in the first round of the UEFA Cup with an impressive 5-0 victory over Moldovan side FC Nistru Otaci in Belgrade.

Žigic stars
Star of the show for the home side was giant striker Nikola Žigic, who scored a hat-trick. Žigic was set up by Branko Boskovic for each of his goals before the Serbo-Montenegrin international helped himself to a goal of his own in the second half.

Early goal
Zvezda opened the scoring after just eight minutes through Žigic, who only arrived at the club earlier this summer after plying his trade in the third division. Defender Marjan Markovic and Boskovic combined before feeding Žigic and he made no mistake from close range.

On the spot
Zvezda's second arrived minutes later when Boskovic sent over a dangerous corner which the towering Žigic steered home. The hosts extended their lead on the stroke of half-time when Nemanja Vidic coolly slotted home a penalty.

Boskovic weighs in
Within a minute of the restart it was 4-0 with Boskovic again displaying his set-piece skills, sending a rasping drive into the top corner from the edge of the box. The rout was completed five minutes later with Boskovic providing the cross for Žigic's headed finish. The home side were subsequently content to play out time safe in the knowledge that their passage to the first round is all but assured.

Muslin joy
Coach Slavoljub Muslin was delighted with his side's display. He said: "It was a great match for us. I am very satisfied that we played at this level and impressed in our first home game, especially after our defeat at the weekend. The win is good for morale but we must play better and better in the future."

Generous Gii
His opposite number, Yuri Gii, was magnanimous in defeat. He said: "What can you say after a 5-0 defeat. Congratulations to Crvena Zvezda and I hope when we face them next that we will play better than today."