A disappointing, tumultuous qualification campaign has effectively come to its end for Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic, and the rest of their Serbian friends with a win against hapless Armenia (who were also eliminated) on the banks of the picturesque Danube in picturesque Novi Sad. It's a good thing their surroundings were nice, considering that Karadorde Stadium stood empty thanks to the ugly scenes last October in the qualifier against Albania.
While initially that match was awarded as a forfeit 3-0 win to Serbia (with three points then deducted by UEFA), a later CAS ruling reversed that scoreline in favor of Albania, while maintaining Serbia's three-point deduction. Thanks to disappointing results in their other matches, Serbia were actually on negative 2 points before Friday's 2-0 win, but with just 1 point from six matches and sitting nine points behind third place with two matches left, Serbia are out from Euro 2016 contention.
The only notable thing from today's match is this pretty decent photo taken by the FSS photographer. pic.twitter.com/c8IE1CZkMD
— Serbian Football (@SerbianFooty) September 5, 2015
Fortunately for their fans, the future looks bright(er).
Elsewhere in Serbia's group, Andreas Christensen was an unused sub as Denmark were held 0-0 at home by Albania. The Danes remain second, one point behind Portugal who have a game in hand. The Portuguese had only a friendly, losing 1-0 to France in Lisbon. Kurt Zouma went unused on France's bench.
Paul Pogba played the full 90 to mixed reviews. Neither suffered an ACL tear unlike the supremely unlucky Nabil Fekir.
Several of our youngsters were involved in youth internationals as well. There were wins for Nathan Ake (Netherlands U21), Charly Musonda Jr (Belgium U21), Ruben Sammut (Scotland U19), and all three of Dominic Solanke, Tammy Abraham, and Jake Clarke-Salter (England U19). Solanke did get on the scoresheet — duh! — but I've yet to find a highlight of his goal against Germany U19.