Serbia's UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying hopes suffered a major setback as Armenia continued their fine recent form with a well-earned goalless draw in Yerevan.
The result leaves Javier Clemente's side in fourth position in Group A with 16 points and three games left to play, while Armenia are now unbeaten in four matches having beaten Kazakhstan and Poland and also drawn with Portugal. Both teams face away trips on Wednesday, when Serbia travel to Azerbaijan and Armenia visit Belgium.
The hosts started brighter at the Republican Stadium and Samvel Melkonyan had the first chance when he worked his way into the box only to shoot into the side-netting. At the other end, Serbia's Marko Pantelić had an effort well saved by Roman Berezovsky and the opportunities continued to come – Melkonyan broke down the Armenia right and crossed for Artavazd Karamyan but the midfielder fired wide from close range.
Chances at both ends
Dejan Stanković was similarly culpable for the visitors, failing to find the target after latching on to Pantelić's superb through ball, before Zdravko Kuzmanović was denied by Berezovsky after beating two players. Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković was then called into action for the first time, inadvertently blocking a close-range Levon Pachajyan attempt with his face following good work from Karamyan down the left.
Although Serbia had more reason to press for the win, it was the locals who had the better openings in the final ten minutes. Karamyan lifted a shot over the bar at full stretch from five metres after Sargis Hovsepyan had supplied a low cross. Substitute Aram Hakobyan passed up a similarly presentable opportunity with six minutes left, scuffing Pachajyan's centre past the post, so both sides had to settle for a point.