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WC Qualification Europe
March 26, 2013
• Stadion Karađorđe, Novi Sad
Referee: I. Vad II
• Attendance: 10000
F. Đuričić 60', 65'
Thank you for tuning in to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Serbia vs. Scotland this evening. I've been Ben Cullimore and it's been a pleasure. Goodnight!
As for Serbia, a routine victory at home tonight is only their second of a qualifying campaign in which they will be well aware that they have underperformed, leaving their chances of qualification slim.
FULL-TIME: Serbia 2-0 Scotland. In the end, it was a comfortable win for the home side. Bar from a few impressive moments from the visitors, it was a poor performance from the start from Scotland which leaves them bottom of Group E with just two points after six games and unable to qualify for the World Cup.
90' + 3'
90' + 2'
Ivanovic almost makes it 3-0 with a beautifully side-footed effort after slick build-up play down the right hand flank but the Chelsea man's shot trickles just wide of the far post.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes added time to be played.
With Scotland's defeat all but confirmed, it's just a matter of time now for Serbia as they slowly run down the clock in the final few moments of what has been a poor performance all-round from the visitors.
Yellow CardVladimir Stojkovic
A rare moment of confusion at the back for Serbia as Tomovic awkwardly passes back to Stojkovic and, under pressure from the Scotland attack, the goalkeeper is forced to kick the ball out for a corner.
Adam steps up to take the free kick but fires it into the wall, and the deflected ball drops comfortably into the hands of Stojkovic.
Nastasic challenges late on Adam on the edge of the Serbia penalty area and is lucky not to receive a second yellow card. The visitors are awarded a free kick in a very dangerous position...
Kenny Miller enters the field of play and immediately makes an attacking run down the left wing, only to be flagged for offside without hesitation.
Well aware that victory is little than 10 minutes away, Serbia have slowed down play slightly and are concentrating on keeping possession in the middle of the field.
Yellow CardLiam Bridcutt
A poor header from Hanley leads to Djuricic picking up the ball halfway into the Scotland half. Bridcutt tries to stop the striker from completing his hat-trick by sliding in and picks up a yellow card for his troubles.
After a positive start to the second half, it's all gone rather wrong for Scotland. Two goals down and staring defeat in the face, all belief they once had seems to have disappeared already.
Serbia go close to grabbing themselves a third goal but the Scotland defence just about manage to keep the ball away from danger and into the safe hands of Marshall after a nervy few moments.
Boyd finds himself with a good chance to cross on the left hand side of the Serbia penalty area but the debutant takes too long to decide what to do with the ball and goalkeeper Stojkovic is able to close him down.
GOAL! It goes from bad to worse for Scotland as Djuricic scores again to double the hosts' lead. Poor defensive play allows Milivojevic a shot on goal which is saved by Marshall but Djuricic is there again for a simple tap in.
Bridcutt loses the ball into the centre of the field and Serbia break away on yet another dangerous attack but Adam cleans up the youngster's mess and runs with the ball to safety.
Yellow CardMatija Nastasic
GOAL! It's as scrappy as anything, but Serbia go 1-0 up thanks to Djuricic. They break away down the left wing and the resulting cross ends up at the feet of Fesja in the centre of the penalty area. The Olympiakos Piraeus midfielder's shot deflects off the body of Whittaker and into the path of Djuricic who converts easily to put the hosts ahead.
Serbia attempt to break away on a counterattack after a Scotland attack down the left flank but it's dealt with easily by the visiting defence.
Yellow CardJordan Rhodes
Yellow CardCharlie Adam
Fejsa unleashes a low long-range effort on goal but it fails to trouble Marshall.
Brighter start for Scotland in this second period. They're pressuring the Serbian defence much better and have been keeping the hosts' attacking threats at bay.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Adam powers his way through the Serbian defence and tees the ball up for Naismith who fires it into the corner of the net, but the assistant referee raises his flag for offside and the goal won't stand.
After brief medical attention, Adam has recovered and returns to the pitch.
Concern for Adam as he lies injured on the floor in the middle of the pitch. It looks like he received a knee to the head when tussling with the Serbian midfield...
And we're off again!
Both sides are back on the pitch and ready to get the second-half underway. Scotland have made one change, with Charlie Adam coming on for James McArthur.
Here are Matthew Harold's thoughts on the opening period: "That’s the first 45 minutes gone in Novi Sad and Scotland will be extremely happy to go in goalless at the break. Serbia have had all of the ball and the chances so far and unless Gordon Strachan’s side adapt to the conditions they definitely won’t be collecting their first win in the group."
After being an obvious second best during the entirety of the first period, it's difficult to see how Scotland can find their way back into this game unless some serious changes are made. Serbia, on the other hand, have defended well and have attacked with real belief. If things remain this way when the two teams emerge for the second half, it can't be too long before we see an opening goal from the hosts...
HALF-TIME: The whistle blows and brings an end to a Serbian-dominated first half. However, Scotland have, somehow, managed to hold back the constant Serbian onslaughts, and the score remains 0-0 as a result.
Tomovic finds himself in space with the ball outside of the box but his long range effort clears the crossbar by a mile.
With just two minutes left to play before the break, Serbia have started to thump cross after cross into the Scotland penalty area, but the visitors are holding strong as they pray for the half-time whistle to go...
Hanley flies into Tadic with what some might call an "old fashioned" challenge and the Serbians don't seem too happy with the referee's decision to wave play on. After a few moments down on the ground, the Serbian finally gets back up and shakes off his injury.
A Scottish free kick quickly turns into a Serbian counterattack but the hosts are unable to carve out a real chance on goal.
Shot after shot from Serbia ricochet off various members of the Scotland defence before the ball finds its way into Marshall's hands. The home side are throwing all they have at their visitors as we enter the final eight minutes of the first half.
Scotland carve out a good piece of attacking play down the left and Boyd attempts to hit a low cross into the box but Nastasic slides in to stop the ball with his body.
It's certainly been a frustrating half so far for the visitors, as Matthew Harold sums up: "The first half hour has been Sunday amateur football from Scotland, with a if it moves kick it mentality, especially on the mud field they are playing at in Novi Sad. There’s been nothing of any sort of a passing game for the Scots, with only new boy Liam Bridcutt looking like he’s willing to pass the ball on the ground, everyone else in blue wants to hit it long, which isn’t going to help Jordan Rhodes upfront."
Scotland try to embark on a much-needed attacking movement but the Serbian defence are just too strong and soak up and clear the pressure in regimented fashion.
Slick play from Serbia sets up Tosic just outside the Scotland penalty area and his shot bounces just wide of post.
Yellow CardZoran Tosic
Nastasic loses the ball in a dangerous position inside the Serbian half, allowing Rhodes to break away. Tosic stops him with a rash challenge, and, unfortunately for the Serb, he's yellow carded as a result.
Tosic weaves his way past the Scotland defence on the left flank before sending a dangerous ball deep into the penalty area where Basta is waiting ready to unleash another shot on goal but Hanley gets an important touch on it to put it out of danger. For now at least...
A fantastic ball is sent over the Scotland defence to Djuricic up front but the Serbian striker loses his footing and his effort is easily stopped by Marshall. If it wasn't for the poor pitch, the home side might be 1-0 up now...
Clearly frustrated, Whittaker challenges Tadic and gives away a free kick on the right hand side of the Scotland box. The nervy Scotland defence fail to deal with the resulting balls sent into their penalty area and are only saved, finally, by the linesman's offside flag being raised.
Here's what our man Matthew Harold has to say about the opening third of the first half: "The only way to describe the pitch in Novi Sad is that it’s like one of the those parks you seen in the classic footage of FA Cup games in the 1970’s, not exactly something you would expect for an international in 2013. Serbia have adapted to the conditions straight from the off, with both Filip Duricic and Dusan Basta having nearly efforts against a Scotland defence that looks as shaky as the one that lined-up at Hampden on Friday night."
The pitch here at Karadorde isn't looking too good and it seems to be causing the players some trouble. Both Bridcutt and Ivanovic have been sliding around since the start.
Serbia break away on another attack which results in Basta crossing in to Ivanovic in the centre of the box. The Serbian captain is able to get his head to it but the ball in was slightly too high and the contact isn't good enough to trouble Marshall.
Tosic breaks away down the left flank and fires towards the goal but it's a tame effort that ends up rolling out harmlessly for a goal kick.
Basta unleashes a toe-poked effort from the right-hand corner of the penalty area but Marshall is able to dive to his left and get a hand to the ball to deny the home side an opening goal.
After an early scare, Scotland are keeping possession well in the middle of the field, creating space for themselves and working their way slowly, but surely, towards the Serbian goal.
Tosic whips in a corner kick from the right which Ivanovic rockets into the heart of the Scottish defence. The ball finds its way to the Chelsea man once again and he wins another corner, but the resulting effort ends up safely in goalkeeper Marshall's hands.
The Serbians attack straight away and find their way inside the Scottish penalty area but the defence are able to deal with the early pressure.
And we're off! The home side get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The teams are out on the pitch and have lined up for the two national anthems. An energetic army of Scotland fans bellow out 'Flower of Scotland' and the Serbians reply in an equally impressive fashion with 'God of Justice'.
Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has made six changes from the side that lost to Wales last Friday, with Allan McGregor, Charlie Mulgrew, Graham Dorrans, Robert Snodgrass, Steven Fletcher and Chris Burke being replaced by David Marshall, Steven Whittaker, Steven Naismith, Jordan Rhodes, Liam Bridcutt and George Boyd. It's a special night for Bridcutt and Boyd as they make their Scotland debuts.
Scotland XI: Marshall, Hutton, Caldwell, Hanley, Whittaker, McArthur, Boyd, Bridcutt, Maloney, Rhodes, Naismith
Serbia XI: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Subotic, Nastasic, Rajkovic, Fejsa, Petrovic, Basta, Djuricic, Tadic, Djordjevic
First, let's have a look at how the two teams line up...
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Serbia vs. Scotland at Karadorde Stadium in Novi Sad. My name is Ben Cullimore and I'll be keeping you up to date with all of the action from tonight's clash.
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