August 27, 2017 / 7:26 PM / a month ago

Soccer-Calm Serbian derby ends in tepid goalless stalemate

BELGRADE, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Serbian champions Partizan Belgrade and bitter city rivals Red Star played a rare derby devoid of serious crowd trouble but most of the fireworks were confined to the terraces after their league clash ended in an uninspired 0-0 draw on Sunday.

The result left 1991 European Cup winners Red Star top of the standings with 16 points from six matches, one ahead of second-placed Vojvodina Novi Sad who suffered a shock 5-0 home drubbing by Spartak Subotica on Saturday.

Partizan, who stretched their unbeaten run against Red Star to six games in all competitions, stayed sixth with 13 points from six matches.

Fans had expected a more entertaining match after both clubs qualified for the Europa League group stage on Thursday but wasteful finishing and fine goalkeeping by Partizan’s Vladimir Stojkovic denied Red Star a win.

Both sets of fans let off flares and firecrackers but the home contingent had little to cheer about as Red Star saw their former keeper Stojkovic make two telling saves in the first half and forward Aleksandar Pesic hit the bar.

Gabonese midfielder Guelor Kanga volleyed just wide of the far post in the 70th minute as Red Star’s frustration grew and Partizan held out comfortably in the closing stages. (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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