Saturday, June 6, 2009

Austria falls to Serbia

Dietmar Constantini's Austria side can hold their heads high after falling 1-0 to Serbia in Belgrade. The result is another import cog in Austria's long climb up world rankings and much will be learned from the match.

With over 50,000 in support Stadion Crvena Zvezda, Dietmar Constantini pushed forward with Rapid Wien duo Stefan Maierhofer and "Jimmy" Hoffer paired up top as well is giving international debuts to Aleksandar Dragović and Jakob Jantscher. The visitor gave the White Eagles a startle early on with Stefan Maierhofer's however it was only seven minutes in before Radomir Antić's side found the mark. After Danko Lazović was brought down in the area by Spartak Moskva's Martin Stranzl, the spot was pointed to. Crvena Zvezda's talented captain Nenad Milijaš calmly stepped and made no mistake giving Serbia the 1-0 lead. Chances were at a premium for the balance of the half with Austria unwilling to expose itself to the Serbia's fast pace countering ability. At the restart Serbia ushered in 1860 München's Antonio Rukavina for an injured Nemanja Vidić and the defender came in handy as he cleared Stefan Maierhofer's effort off the line. Eleven minutes in Austria summoned Rubin Okotie and goal scoring machine, Marc Janko in at striker but it was the Serb's who came close three minutes later as Genoa's Boško Janković rang the ball off the post from a set-piece. Still on the hunt for the equalizer, Austria's Marc Janko came within a whisper of finding the needed touch as he pounded the ball off the crossbar from twenty metres with thirteen minutes remaining and later-on, only to be denied by Serbian 'keeper Vladimir Stojković. Without further mark the match concluded with Austria falling 1-0 to Serbia in a superb display.