Socceroo Milos Degenek will play UEFA Champions League football this season as Red Star Belgrade fought back from two goals down to secure their spot in Europe's top club competition overnight.
Degenek moved from Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F. Marinos to the Serbian giants in the off-season eager to get into European football in the country where his family grew up and played a key role in securing their maiden group stage spot.
Red Star hadn't qualified for the Champions League group stage since being the European Cup back in 1991-92, so Degenek's move had no guarantees.
However, Red Star secured their spot dramatically, winning on the away goals rule after a 2-2 aggregate draw, having trailed 2-0 after an hour overnight at Austrian champions and 2017-18 Europa League runners-up Red Bull Salzburg.
Degenek provided the assists for both goals, scored by Mohamed Ben Nabouhane in the 65th and 66th minutes.
Firstly the Australian recycled possession from Krsticic's free-kick, finding Ben Nabouhane at the back post.
Then Degenek got free from a long free-kick into the box and looped his header goalbound, with Ben Nabouhane forcing it home from point-blank range for the equaliser.
Socceroo Milos Degenek scores a crucial, crucial 2nd goal in the UEFA Champions League playoffs to turn this tie on it's head.— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) 29 August 2018
As it stands, Red Star Belgrade lead the tie on away goals!
SALZBURG 2-2 Crvena Zvezda (2-2)#UCL #SALZVE #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/Bfmqf49iVU
Elsewhere, Trent Sainsbury's PSV Eindhoven also secured their spot in the group stage after a 3-0 win over Belarussian champions BATE Borisov completed a 6-2 aggregate win.
Sainsbury was not in the PSV matchday squad.
Milos Degenek was born in Knin to a family that loves Crvena Zvezda. They lost everything in the war and came to Australia as refugees. This year he returned to the club hes always loved and tonight he scored the goal that will make him a legend forever. What a fairytale. pic.twitter.com/8OLoUSdQZw— Serbian Football (@SerbianFooty) August 29, 2018