Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has missed out on booking a place in the Serbian cup final following a 1-0 defeat to bitter Belgrade rivals Partizan.
Just over a week after his Red Star side clinched a record 31st league crown, cup holders Partizan won a tense derby on Thursday (AEST) as fans were allowed to attend games in unrestricted numbers for the first time since the COVID-19 virus halted football in the Balkan nation in mid-March.
"I thank the fans for their fantastic support and it was great to grind out this win in front of a full house," a delighted Partizan head coach Savo Milosevic told a news conference after Bibras Natcho's 58th-minute winner settled the contest.
The Serbian league resumed on May 29 behind closed doors, with Red Star clinching the league title with three games to spare on the 29th anniversary of their 1991 European Cup triumph.
A limited number of fans saw their 4-1 home win over Radnik Surdulica on Saturday but they looked toothless against a fired-up Partizan and Milosevic praised their players who thrived in an electrifying atmosphere.
"I think we did pretty well in a very tough match and reaffirmed that when the going gets tough, the tough get going," said the former Yugoslavia striker, who won the English League Cup with Aston Villa in 1996.
Red Star coach Dejan Stankovic, who won the 2010 UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan, was disappointed.
"We left it all out there but it was a poor performance and I take responsibility," he said.
"I don't want to rip into the lads because they are already gutted. We lacked patience and a more adventurous approach."