Having looked in disarray and out of contention following a 3-0 first-leg defeat, Serbia regrouped superbly to win 5-0 in Sweden and maintain their proud recent record in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
With their Montenegro appendage, the team reached the final of the 2004 edition before losing in the last four in Portugal this summer. New coach Miroslav Djukić had been saying in recent weeks that Serbia "have the quality" to impress again in the Netherlands in 2007 and his side repaid that faith in fine style as goals from Dragan Mrda, Boško Janković, Stefan Babović (2) and Miloš Krasić sent them through.
Serbia began as though the cause was not lost and Aleksandar Kolarov and Janković both went close in the opening five minutes before Mrda registered the early goal they wanted with nine minutes on the clock, scoring from close range when unmarked. Within two minutes they had doubled their advantage and moved to within one goal of restoring parity overall. In contrast to Mrda's effort, it was a stunning 25-metre free-kick from Janković which silenced the home crowd and gave Serbia real hope, hope that was realised ten minutes before the break as Babović made it 3-3 on aggregate.
Hosts in 2009
The most unlikely of turnarounds was completed on the hour as Babović scored again, converting a precise cross from Janković. Sweden now needed two goals to progress, although the only other goal of the night also went Serbia's way as Krasić took advantage of an error by Fredrik Stoor to keep the White Eagles flying high. While Serbia can look forward to next summer's finals, Sweden will not play a competitive match at this level until 2009 when they host the next championship.