YEREVAN (UEFA.com) Zoran Tošic struck in the last minute to deny Armenia a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group I win, aided by Vladimir Stojkovic’s penalty save for Serbia after the home side had gone ahead.
Armenia’s three starters Henrik Mkhitaryan, Yura Movsisyan and Aras Ozbiliz missed the game due to injuries.
Serbia, starting their campaign in the sole five-team section, had the better of the early exchanges. However, they did not go close until the 28th minute, Roman Berezovski tipping over a long-range drive from Zdravko Kuzmanovic, an early substitute for Lazar Markovic. The resulting corner was headed into the ground and over by Branislav Ivanovic.
At the other end Stojkovic tipped Marcos Pizzelli’s effort round the post. Armenia certainly improved later in the half and also pressed early in the second period, Artur Sarkisov heading a Pizzelli corner wide.
Still, Serbia were edging play and certainly possession, but with 17 minutes left Armenia made the breakthrough. Robert Arzumanyan dived to head in Taron Voskanyan’s cross after another Pizzelli corner was only half-cleared.
Now the task was to defend the lead, having gone ahead in the second half in Denmark last month in their group opener only to lose 2-1. They did not just sit on the advantage, Varazdat Haroyan forcing a Stojkovic save on the counter.
It looked like being two when Artur Sarkisov was brought down by Stefan Mitrovic in the Serbia box but Stojkovic kept out Pizzelli’s penalty and the rebound was put wide. And in the last minute Serbia made the most of their let-off, Tošic striking with a looping shot from the edge of the box.
On Tuesday Armenian will host France in a friendly game. On November 14 Armenia plays away against Portugal in Group I qualifier.