An experimental Serbia team left it late to claim a win against Kazakhstan in a match which had no bearing on UEFA EURO 2008™ qualification but offers them hope for the future.
With Serbia's slender hopes of reaching the finals ended on Wednesday, coach Javier Clemente opted to rest many of his usual starters and blood youngsters, with an eye on the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. And the starlets did not let him down, although the decisive strike was a late own goal from Kazakhstan substitute Sergey Ostapenko.
Serbia started well with Miloš Krasić firing over the bar early on. They went even closer to scoring after 15 minutes when Dušan Andjelković's cross was met by Nikola Žigić whose header rattled the crossbar. Serbia finally got their goal with eleven minutes to play as Ostapenko found his own net after a shot from Žigić had hit the bar.
Poland on top
The game should have been played last Saturday when Serbia still had qualification hopes but was postponed because of snow. It was then rescheduled for Sunday but, once again, inclement weather led to another postponement. Poland won Group A to qualify along with Portugal.