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Petkovic's side ease to three points

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

By Aleksandr Boskovic at FK Crvena Zvezda stadium

[1] Serbia and Montenegro cruised to victory against San Marino to move to the top of FIFA World Cup qualifying Group 7.

Missed chances

[2] A heavily-staffed visiting defence had kept Serbia and Montenegro, who had won 3-0 in San Marino in their opening qualifier, at bay until the 35th minute. However, at times the San Marino goal led a charmed life as Savo Milosevic twice went close in the opening 20 minutes, the best chance when he missed the target with only goalkeeper Federico Gasperoni to beat.


[3] Ilja Petkovic's side finally scored after Milosevic was brought down by Carlo Valentini 17 metres from goal. Milosevic picked himself up to steer the free-kick over the wall and collect his 35th goal for his country. A minute before the interval, Dejan Stankovic doubled the lead, the FC Internazionale Milano man lobbing Gasperoni from 27 metres out after collecting a pass from Ivica Dragutinovic.

San Marino weary

[4] After 17 attempts on their goal in the opening 45 minutes, it came as no surprise that Giampaolo Mazza's team had a somewhat weary look about them as they came out for the second half. They did not have to wait long for chance number 18, Stankovic grabbing his second of the night on 50 minute as he headed in Marjan Markovic's corner.

Spain held

[5] Three minutes later Nenad Brnovic laid the ball on to Ognjen Koroman who shot directly into the top-right corner of the net, giving Gasperoni no chance. Just over a quarter of an hour later, Zvonimir Vukic made it five, placing his shot in the same corner from 18 metres out. With Lithuania and Spain playing out a 0-0 draw this evening, Petkovic's team are now two points clear of the pair at the top of Group 7.

Belgium next

[6] Belgium, yet to win in the group, are at home to Serbia and Montenegro on 17 November, when San Marino, with no points or goals from their three fixtures to date, welcome unbeaten Lithuania.

San Marino's Marco Domeniconi (left) tussles with Zvonimir Vukic