• Kyodo

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Japan striker Takayuki Suzuki made his debut Saturday for Red Star Belgrade in a 2-0 victory of his new Serbia and Montenegro league club over local rivals Vozdovac.

The Japanese international came on as a substitute in the 69th minute and drew loud applause from local fans with promising attacking moves and shots on goal although he did not have a hand in the home side’s goals.

Vozdovac defenders committed some fouls trying to stop the 29-year-old former Kashima Antlers player, who signed a two-year contract with the former European champions last month.

League leaders Red Star scored in the 12th and 78th minutes in their first match after the league resumed following the winter break.

“I am happy with the victory and the warm reception by the Red Star fans and I hope we will continue winning,” Suzuki said.

Suzuki is the first Japanese to play in the league of Serbia and Montenegro. A member of Japan’s 2002 World Cup squad, he has played 55 times for his country and scored 11 goals.

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