Serbia continue to set the pace in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group A after comfortably defeating ten-man Armenia in Belgrade.
After a first-half penalty miss by Marko Pantelić, the home side rallied in the second period and another spot-kick, this time converted by Dejan Stanković, and headers from Danko Lazović and Nikola Zigić either side of Rafael Nazaryan's dismissal preserved Serbia's perfect home record since becoming an independent nation. Serbia's four games have reaped ten points, two more than second-placed Finland, while Armenia are being kept off the foot of the table by Azerbaijan.
Both coaches shuffled their packs following their games on Saturday, when Serbia defeated Belgium and Armenia held Finland, and unsurprisingly it was the home side who enjoyed all of the early dominance with Zigić going close inside the opening 45 seconds. The tall striker was involved again in the 12th minute, winning a penalty after being felled by Robert Arzumanyan. Pantelić was assigned spot-kick duties but could only blast his effort over the bar.
The Hertha BSC Berlin striker nearly made amends three minutes later, only for a fine shot from range to cannon to safety off the post. Serbia had to wait until the 54th minute to finally get the better of goalkeeper Gevorg Kasparov after he became the second Armenian to foul Zigić in the area. Stanković made no mistake with the penalty, slotting it into the bottom left-hand corner. Lazović made the game safe when heading in Ivica Dragutinović's 62nd-minute cross, before Zigić scored the goal his performance deserved deep into added time.