Serbia snatches 1-0 win over Northern Ireland

Serbia snatches 1-0 win over Northern Ireland

Published Sep. 2, 2011 11:38 p.m. ET

Marko Pantelic 's second-half goal earned Serbia a hard-fought 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2012 qualifying, putting the visitors in pole position to clinch second place in Group C.

The Olympiakos striker pounced on a poor backpass by midfielder Steven Davis, rounded goalkeeper Lee Camp and slotted the ball into the empty net in the 67th minute at Windsor Park.

''We missed so many chances in the first half but we really wanted to score the first goal,'' Serbia manager Vladimir Petrovic said. ''We finally did that and I am satisfied with the efforts of the team.''

The victory saw Serbia leapfrog the Irish and move level on points with Slovenia, having played a game less.

Both teams are eight points adrift of runaway leader Italy.

If results had gone its way on Friday, Northern Ireland could have climbed a place to second but the team is now down to fifth.

''It's a cruel way to lose a game of football,'' coach Nigel Worthington said. ''It's hugely disappointing for one of our top-class professionals in Steven Davis.


''That's football. It does happen and unfortunately it happened to us tonight.''



Northern Ireland: Lee Camp, Gareth McAuley, Craig Cathcart, Aaron Hughes, Jonny Evans, Chris Baird, Corry Evans (Niall McGinn, 59), Steven Davis, Grant McCann (Warren Feeney, 71), Chris Brunt, David Healy (Josh McQuoid, 84).

Serbia: Bojan Jorgacevic, Slobodan Rajkovic, Branislav Ivanovic, Neven Subotic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Zoran Tosic (Adem Ljajic, 78), Dejan Stankovic, Milos Ninkovic (Radosav Petrovic, 74), Zdravko Kuzmanovic (Ljubomir Fejsa, 90), Milan Jovanovic, Marko Pantelic.