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Northern Irish face Serbia threat

Published: Sunday 31 July 2011, 15.47CET
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 Irish face Serbia threat
Serbia beat Northern Ireland 2-1 when the teams met in Belgrade in March ©Getty Images
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Published: Sunday 31 July 2011, 15.47CET

Northern Irish face Serbia threat

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 as Serbia come calling in a crucial Group C encounter.

• Serbia won 2-1 in Belgrade when the sides met on 25 March, 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.

• 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.

Last updated: 11/08/11 10.59CET

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