Slovenia beats Serbia 1-0 in Euro qualifier

Slovenia beat Serbia 1-0 in a European Championship qualifier

Tuesday, eliminating the visitors and sending Estonia into the

playoffs for the 2012 competition.

Dare Vrsic sent a high cross into the Serbian penalty box that

grazed the bar and ended up in the net behind surprised goalkeeper

Bojan Jorgacevic in first-half injury time.

Serbia captain Nemanja Vidic, playing his first game after an

eight-week injury layoff, then missed a penalty in the 65th when

his low shot was easily saved by Slovenian goalkeeper Samir

Handanovic.

The result meant that Estonia placed second in Group C and

advanced to the playoffs, while Serbia was eliminated after

finishing third. Italy won the group.

The Slovenes, who have previously never beaten a team from the

former Yugoslavia, had more possession in the first half but failed

to create serious scoring chances even though Serbia played

nervously under the pressure.

In the second, Serbia tried to press forward while Slovenia

relied on counterattacks. One of those attacks nearly paid off when

Tim Matavz’s shot went just wide in the 58th.

Serbia’s first shot on target came in the 60th when substitute

Milos Krasic fired a volley from close range, but Handanovic made a

spectacular reflex save.

”It wasn’t our day today,” Serbia coach Vladimir Petrovic

said. ”They scored a lucky goal, and we didn’t convert a penalty.

What more is there to say.”

Slovenia: Samir Handanovic, Miso Brecko (Branko Ilic, 65), Marko

Suler, Bostjan Cesar, Zlatan Ljubijankic, Bojan Jokic, Andraz Kirm,

Aleksandar Radosavljevic, Armin Bacinovic (Rene Krhin, 69), Dare

Vrsic (Valter Birta, 76), Tim Matavz.

Serbia: Bojan Jorgacevic, Nemanja Vidic, Branislav Ivanovic,

Zoran Tosic, Dejan Stankovic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Milan Jovanovic

(Milos Krasic, 57), Radosav Petrovic (Marko Pantelic, 51), Milos

Ninkovic (Nenad Milijas, 72), Neven Subotic, Dragan Mrdja.