Jul 30 2010

Crvena Zvezda 1-2 Slovan Bratislava, shock at the Marakana

Published by at 7:21 am under European and tagged: , , ,

Slovan produced one of their finest performances in European football in recent years with a surprise 1-2 away victory in front of 40,000 fans at the Marakana Stadium in Belgrade. Slovan entered the match apparently with damage limitation as a priority but left victorious with a result which puts them in a great position going into the home leg next Thursday at Pasienky Stadium in Bratislava.

Crvena Zvezda’s defence struggled to cope with the pace and movement of a young enthusiastic Slovan team, and luckily the delayed travelling fans of Slovan did arrive on time to witness the first good chance of the match after 15 minutes. Slovan pressed harder as the first half wore on and just before half time we rewarded with a goal by Ivana. 0-1 going into the break was an excellent start, but Slovan have a habit of losing leads in the 2nd half and especially after losing a 0-2 advantage at Zilina last weekend would have been nervous when Crvena Zvezda equalised after 63 minutes. However the team showed real character in a cauldron of noise and passion to score the 2nd away goal 5 minutes later, the defender Kornel Salata silencing the Delije masses and sending the travelling pocket of Slovan supporters into ecstasy.
This result will surely increase interest in the return leg in Bratislava and Slovan need to keep their heads and play a solid match to hold onto this vital lead. The fans will play their role, and the atmosphere should be electric in Bratislava too. This tie is really a celebration of Eastern European football passion, and 40,000 at the Belgrade leg must have been one of the highest attendances of this Europa League round.
Slovan have not progressed beyond the qualifying rounds of any major European competition since 2001.
BritskiBelasi will be reporting from the return leg next week.

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