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Serbia edge Austria to top Group 7

Hosts Serbia beat Austria in a last-day decider to top Group 7 but both sides nonetheless advance to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite round.

Sergej Milinković-Savić (right) scored the only goal in the decider against Austria
Sergej Milinković-Savić (right) scored the only goal in the decider against Austria ©Sportsfile

Sergej Milinković-Savić scored the crucial goal on the final day of UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying round Group 7 as Serbia defeated Austria to win the section.

FK Vojvodina midfielder Milinković-Savić struck 12 minutes into the decider on his home pitch in Novi Sad to seal first place for Veljko Paunović's men. Nevertheless both Serbia and Austria go into the competition's elite round draw as the top pairing in the group, with each having entered the last day of action with a perfect record.

Meanwhile, after both opened with a pair of defeats, Finland and Kazakhstan drew 0-0 in matchday three's other game. Consequently, Mikhail Solovyev's Kazakh side took third place thanks to a superior goal difference.

Austria had announced themselves with an initial 6-0 thrashing of Finland as Peter Michorl and Sinan Bytyqi put Andreas Heraf's men two up before Finnish captain Jerry Voutilainen was dismissed on the stroke of half-time. Markus Blutsch and Daniel Rosenbichler increased the advantage before further strikes from Bytyqi and Valentin Grubeck. The Serbian hosts were equally impressive as Milinković-Savić's penalty, alongside efforts from Mijat Gačinović and Stefan Ilić, downed Kazakhstan 3-0.

Serbia followed that with a 1-0 victory over Finland, substitute Veljko Simić with the clincher in the 76th minute. Elsewhere, two more goals from Bytyqi helped the Austrians to a 3-1 success against Kazakhstan to set up a final-day decider against the home country.