Dismal result for Serbia
Nemanja Vidic had to plead with his country's rioting fans during their 1-0 defeat to New Zealand.
Last Updated: 29/05/10 7:30pm
Stand-in Serbia captain Nemanja Vidic had to plead with his country's rioting fans during the second half of their 1-0 defeat to New Zealand.
It was a dismal Saturday afternoon in Austria for Serbia as trouble erupted in the second half of the World Cup warm-up match, with their fans launching burning flares, bottles and missiles onto the pitch.
Several supporters invaded the turf and had to be hauled away by security before Manchester United centre-back Vidic, standing in for Dejan Stankovic as skipper, appealed for calm over the microphone as the match officials and New Zealand team prepared to abandon the match.
There was a several minute delay to the second half as a result of the commotion before the match resumed.
Serbia struggled to make an impact throughout, with their experimental side lacking creativity and pace, but New Zealand's hard-working approach paid off.
Shane Smeltz scored the only goal of the match in the 22nd minute after latching onto a long ball and comfortably beating right-back Antonio Rukavina before posting a low shot in the bottom right corner.
The Kiwis almost doubled that advantage just three minutes later, but a powerful Rory Fallon shot was deflected.
Serbia went up a gear after the break, with Zoran Tosic making several impressive runs on the left wing, but his display was one of the only positives his side could take from the afternoon.
The Serbs will next face Poland on Wednesday before their final World Cup warm-up match against Cameroon on 5th June.
They will compete in Group D in South Africa against Germany, Australia and Ghana, while New Zealand will feature in Group F with Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia.