Sweden have one foot in next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship after two goals from the Serbian-born Dusan Djuric helped them to an impressive 3-0 victory in the first leg of their qualifying play-off against Serbia in Novi Sad.
Halmstads BK midfielder Djuric, who has also played for the full Sweden side, scored twice in the opening ten minutes to set up the win. Samuel Holmén added the third midway through the second half to put Sweden, who will host the tournament in 2009, in a very strong position going into Tuesday's return match in Trollhattan.
Djuric opened the scoring in the fourth minute, shooting past Serbia goalkeeper Damir Kahriman from just outside the penalty area. Five minutes later he doubled Sweden's advantage when he turned in Henok Goitom's cross on the break. It was only after going two behind that the home team began to make their mark. Lone striker Dragan Mrda came closest just before the half-hour but Fredrik Stoor cleared his goalbound effort off the line.
Serbia coach Miroslav Djukić brought on attacking midfielder Stefan Babović after the interval, but despite more possession his side were unable to put Sweden under real danger. The visitors underlined their superiority midway through the second period when Holmén beat the offside trap and struck on 63 minutes. The result was sweet revenge for Sweden who had lost to Serbia and Montenegro in the semi-final of the 2004 tournament in Germany.