By Aleksandar Boskovic
Serbia and Montengro missed the chance to overhaul Belgium at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 7 as they were reduced to nine men and their rivals hit back with an equaliser six minutes from time.
Home side ahead
The home side in Novi Sad were keep to gain revenge for their 4-0 defeat in Belgium in November, and eight minutes in went ahead through Danko Lazovic. Boško Jankovic found Miloš Krasic, whose long ball fooled visiting goalkeeper goalkeeper Glen Verbauwhede, allowing Lazovic to tap in for the 2004 U21 runners-up.
Five minutes later Lazovic missed from five metres out, and just after the half-hour Krasic went close from 20 metres out. Jankovic also had three good chances before the break as Belgium were overrun.
Belgium looked better in the second half and defender Thomas Vermaelen had their first good opportunity, threatening from 25 metres out in the 64th minute. Not long afterwards Lazovic departed with a muscular injury.
Then with 12 minutes left came the real turning point as Krasic and home defender Marko Lomic were dismissed. Krasic was red-carded for a push and Lomic received a second yellow in the resultant melee. Serbia and Montenegro now went on the defensive, but could not hold out long before Maarten Martens levelled following a corner.
Belgium stay top
Home substitute Lazar Popovic turned a Jankovic cross just wide late on, but his team remain one point behind unbeaten Belgium with four games left each. On 2 September the leaders travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina while Serbia and Montenegro welcome Lithuania.