Northern Ireland v Serbia live score commentary

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Northern Ireland 0 – 1 Serbia
49min played(second half)
All over here and very dissapointing result after a brillant start to the second half by NI
NI effectively out of the qualifiers for another tournament with this result.
Lee Camp man of the match which sums up frustrating night for the Ulstermen
Now its evans clattered and a card for the serbs. free kick but no its blown up.
Johnny Evans wound up clatters petrovic and gets booked and will miss next game.
four minutes added time here. mcauley looks to start a move, lost to the serbs who stroke it across field.
40minNonsense here as the serbs drop like flies to con the referee. Johnny evans takes action and clatters one just on the edge of the box.
Serbia just playing out the clock now with only bright spot, feeney going through before called up for offside.
36min Kolarov wars with McGinn and the left-back wins out as he prevents a corner before calmly clearing the danger.
35min Kuzmanovic is getting nearer as his rasping shot from 25-yards is calmly left by Camp but is marginally wide as it smacks the boards behind goal.
33min Tosic comes off after an impressive shift and Adem Ljajic takes his place.
31min Healy has been frustrated all night and he tries a pop on the turn but it flies over the bar as the striker looks throughly miserable.
Serbia peppering long range efforts as the Ulstermen look tired.
30min Kolorav goes close but an inspired camp saves again
28min Pantelic eyes a second, this time from range as he has a pop with Jonny Evans getting stepping well to deflect clear.
26min warren feeney on for mccann
windsor park has been silenced after dominating this half with that goal conceeded.
26mindisaster, pantelic seizes on a davis mistake to ghost through and past the despairing camp. Serbia ahead
26min incredible save by Lee Camp..certain goal but the forest man pulls his side out of the fire
23min corner comes across, that man mcginn through to healy,,just wide
Incredible atmosphere here as mcginn ups the attacks, squares to mccann…saved!
NI are defending very deep but for now it seems to be working as McAuley steals the ball from Tosic and gets the ball straight up the other end as Healy’s ball in is parried with Brunt’s shot blocked by Rajkovic.
16min Corry Evans will miss NI’s next qualifier after a poor tackle on Ninkovic which earned the midfielder a yellow card.
15min Healy is offside after Kolarov stepped up, with the striker inches away from having a one-on-one.
12min oh my word,brunt fires over after good work by davis, x derry player niall mcginn on
10min evans gets booked and will miss talinn game
9min NI have comes out the traps flying as Healy vyes with Rajkovic and is judged to have fouled the Serbian as their rivalry continues from the first half.

7min Good work from Davis who combines magically with Hughes before crossing in at the far post with Brunt too far away from making contact.

5min serbia push NI back with cathcart giving away a corner. flicked away
3min NI starting this half much better with healy taking out the keeper, another welcome to belfast that one
we’re off with the home crowd going mental… lets all do the bouncie

45min (Half Time)
44min oh a disgraceful high tackle on Healy by rajkovic, arkans tigers would have be pleased with that horror tackle, ref bottles it and only shows a yellow
42min NI cut out a good Serbia move and Ninkovic receives a yellow card for a late tackle on Davis.
39min Serbia again knock it around sweetly with Tosic gaining confidence by the minute as he drives across goal with the result only inches wide.
37min Cathcart’s diagonal pass is superb to McCann who nods the ball too far forward and concedes a goal kick as NI continue to struggle in the final third.
36min Pantelic is offside as he runs on to Stankovic’s pass with the NI offside trap working perfectly.
35min What looked set to be a corner is a NI goal kick as McAuley does superbly againts Jovanovic, with NI continuing to deny the Serbs so far.
34min Pantelic misses the ball in and NI clear with Brunt’s ball to Healy carrying too much weight and Serbia get the throw-in.
33min Evans is too enthusastic and fouls Jovanovic out wide as Tosic whips in a good looking ball and Cathcart heads behind for a Serbian corner.
32min It’s all Serbia right now as Brunt and Hughes struggle to keep the ball in between them before Kolarov steps in and nicks it anyway.
31min Penalty claims from Serbia after Kolarov went down under Hughes but the referee waves play on.
30min Another Serbia corner as Evans again getting in the way to deny Tosic’s cross getting into the penalty area.
29min Tosic takes a gamble and shoots from 30 yards with Evans getting in the way and taking the sting off the shot which lands in Camp’s hands.
28min For all Serbia’s good play their first touch is often poor as Pantelic gives the ball away to Evans but NI can’t capitalise and Ivanovic wins it back off Brunt.
28min McCann carded. welcome to belfast that one!
27min Stankovic goes close as the irish drop far too deep. cant understand why they don’t push healy up to make the serbs drop back.oh my goodness, Pantelic burst forward, had to roll it home with camp lost but over the bar!
25minSerbia’s passing is lovely up until the final third as Cathcart again steps up to cut out a misplaced pass from Stankovic, but Tosic gets on the ball again and crosses in from the right with Camp getting down well to save.
24min Kolarov whips a ball in from the touchline and Evans clears as Serbia again start to step up the pressure.
23min A push is given against Rajkovic against McAuley and NI win a free-kick from the corner.
22min Tosic is superb as he skins Hughes, who is eventually denied by the right-back who recovers well to block the striker’s shot out for a corner.
The hosts have re-arranged their shape as they deny Serbia space, with the passing of the last few minutes dissolved with Evans and Cathcart stepping up to block off Tosic.
21min Healy puts good pressure on Subotic and the ball is forced back to Jorgacevic as NI start to step up the pressing of the Serbs. Kolarov is destroying Hughes on the left but NI are spared for the time being as Pantelic abandons the passing play and has a pop from 25 yards which, to Camp’s relief, sails over.
20min Tosic dances past hughes as the serbs step up the gear.
16min Kuzmanovic is outstanding as he plays a one-two with Ninkovic before cutting inside Jonny Evans and firing on goal with Evans deflecting the effort off the crossbar.
13min Corry Evans goes in hard on Stankovic and runs with pace into Serbia’s half, lining up a shot before Stankovic recovers remarkably and tackles the NI man, retrieving possession.
12min Pantelic beautifully knocks the ball down for Stankovic who eventually chips back into Kuzmanovic who bombs into the box past Cathcart and scuffs his shot into the arms of Camp.
12min Jovanovic shot tips off the bar. danger for the hosts, corner is poor cleared by brunt
11min NI pass the ball around and Hughes gets forward before crossing into the box but Brunt steps offside as Serbia take the free-kick.
10min Craig Cathcart clears the free-kick into the box and Serbia pick up the ball. Good pressing from Healy puts Subotic under pressure though and NI win a throw.
9min Hughes is penalised for a trip on Aleksandar Kolarov and the Fulham man is perhaps lucky not to be cautioned.
Slobodan Rajkovic is fouled by McCann in the penalty area after Brunt’s cross in was cleared, with both teams looking very lively in these early exchanges.
8min Serbs break forward and are immediately pushed back by the home side. early i know but serbs look nervous under pressue from Healy.
5min NI free out on the right as the rain pours down to make a greasy surface. talk before hand here all related to where will goals come from. Crossed in headed out to Baird , oh his shot tipped over
We’re off here in Belfast. First free to the visitors but the Irish win it back. Out to McCann and knocked back
With the teams out for the anthems, Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington is dealt a blow ahead of this vital Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia as Paddy McCourt and Kyle Lafferty are both ruled out of the match. The key pair have been struggling with calf injuries and despite being given every chance to prove their fitness, neither man is able to take their place in the matchday squad. That means record scorer David Healy, without an international goal in almost three years, is named as a lone striker and Chris Brunt returned from suspension to add the creative spark McCourt provided in the 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands last time out. For Group C rivals Serbia, Inter Milan’s Dejan Stankovic wins a 99th cap.

The Serbia team is as follows- 3-5-2 Jorgacevic, Rajkovic, Ivanovic, Subotic, Kolarov, Zoran Tosic, Stankovic, Ninkovic, Kuzmanovic, Jovanovic, Pantelic. Subs: Kahriman, Dusko Tosic, Bisevac, Fejsa, Ljajic, Petrovic, Despotovic.

The Northern Ireland team tonight is as follows- 4-4-2: Camp, Cathcart, McAuley, Hughes, J Evans, C Evans, Baird, Davis, McCann, Brunt, Healy.

With a little over an hour to kick off here at Windsor Park, the green army are already arriving for what is a sell out game. The Ulstermen have made two changes with the most obvious being McCourt missing and Chris Brunt partnering David Healy up front. Victory tonight over the Serbs will put control of their destiny into the Irish hands with a vital game in hand to come.

Northern Ireland will seek to avenge a 2-1 defeat in March when they host Serbia in Group B knowing that victory will keep them in the hunt for UEFA EURO 2012 qualification.

Northern Ireland’s dreams of a place at UEFA EURO 2012 have some life in them yet following a resounding Paddy McCourt inspired 4-0 victory last month over Brian Kerr’s Faeroe Islands, as Serbia come calling in a crucial Group C encounter at a sold out Windsor Park.

Serbia narrowly edged a close encounter Belgrade when the sides met back in spring, two goals in nine second-half minutes from Marko Pantelić and Zoran Tošić turning the game their way after Northern Ireland had taken the lead when Gareth McAuley headed in Chris Brunt’s free-kick.

The North currently sit two points behind 2nd place Slovenia with a game in hand and while Italy are the runaway group leaders the prospect of a play off place and a first qualification for the Ulstermen since 1986 is in their own hands.

Nigel Worthington will look to Celtic star McCourt to provide the flair in his hard working side, the former Derry winger has been given a free role by Nigel Worthington and has proved the southern doubters wrong. A lot of hot air has been written over players of a nationalist background not being welcome with the Northern setup but those mockers should have listened to the Windsor kop chanting the Derryman’s name in the last game.

Another important link tomorrow will be Rangers powerhouse, Steven Davis, also a scorer against the Faoroese. He is the fulcrum around which the Ulstermen will probe the Serbian’s. David Healy will also look to end his drought and come the hour come Healy perhaps?

Serbia are well used to a hot atmosphere but there is nothing like a Belfast roar to shake the visitor so hopefully an early goal will put it up the visitors.

Serbia may not the Yugoslavia great of 90-92 before the cruel division caused by war but will be no pushovers. Aaaron Hughes will skipper the Irish and again he and keeper Lee Camp will need to be on their toes.

Prediction- 2-1 Northern Ireland

• Northern Ireland’s record in 11 games against Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the independent Serbia reads W1 D2 L8 (W1 D1 L4 at home).
• The only other time Serbia have faced the Northern Irish in their current incarnation was a friendly game in Belfast on 14 November 2009, when Danko Lazović’s solitary effort earned a 1-0 win for Serbia.
• Northern Ireland’s only victory against the old Yugoslavia came in their first meeting, a UEFA European Championship qualifier in Belfast on 16 March 1975 in which Bryan Hamilton scored the only goal.
• Northern Ireland lost on the two subsequent occasions they welcomed Yugoslavia to Belfast, succumbing 2-1 and 2-0 in UEFA European Championship qualifiers in 1987 and 1990 respectively.


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