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Europa League: Nabouhane drives Red Star Belgrade past CFR Cluj

The Comoros international scored a goal and two assists as the Red Whites stepped past the reigning Romanian champions.

Red Star Belgrade defeated CFR Cluj 4-0 in the play-off round of the first league in the Europa League, with El Fardou Ben Nabouhane finding the net.

The Comoros international scored a goal in the second half when the Red Whites dismissed the Romanians who could not win any of their last four matches in the tournament.

After dropping out of the Champions League after a 2-1 total loss to FC Sheriff, the Serbian Super League team has been defined to Europe.

To get a chance to advance to the group stage of the competition, Dejan Stankovic’s team put on an impressive attacking performance to hit their visitors for four.

The match was just five minutes old when Red Star took the lead through Milan Pavkov. The Serbian midfielder reacted the fastest to kick the goalkeeper, Giedrius Arlauskis, a setback from Nabouhane’s shot.

Seven minutes before the break, the hosts doubled their advantage through Aleksandar Katai set up by Pavkov.

Nevertheless, their comfortable lead was threatened at half-time as manager Stankovic was ordered to replace the injured Milos Degenek for Radovan Pankov.

Cluj started the second half like a burning house, but their numerous goal-kick attempts were thwarted when goalkeeper Milan Borjan made some good saves.

Victory was guaranteed for the Serbs in the 68th minute by Nabouhane, who drilled from the edge of the box, with Mirko Ivanic providing the assist.

Thirteen minutes after full-time, the Afrikaans star became Ivanic’s supplier when the Romanians returned home with their heads bowed.

In addition to Ivory Coast’s Seko Sanogo, Nabouhane was in action from start to finish, but Guelor Kanga of Gabon – who got a place in the starting line-up – was sacked in the 72nd minute for Nenad Krsticic.

Cluj boss Marius Sumudica did not list the quartet of Ulrich Meleke (Ivory Coast) and Rachid Bouhenna (Algeria), Anas Tahiri (Morocco) and Mike Cestor (Congo) for action.

Before Red Star Belgrade on August 26 to the dr. Constantin Radulescu Stadium travels for the return match, hosting them Backa Topola in a league match on Saturday.

After four games played so far, the seven-time league winners occupy the third position in the record after scoring ten points.

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