Serbia continue to struggle
Serbia failed to make any progress in their World Cup warm-up matches with a 0-0 draw against Poland.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 02/06/10 11:00pm
Serbia failed to make any progress in their World Cup warm-up matches with a 0-0 draw against Poland in Austria on Wednesday.
Despite having plenty of potential, Radomir Antic's men have flattered to deceive so far in their preparations for the tournament in South Africa, where they may not make it through the group stage as was originally anticipated after an impressive qualifying campaign.
A shock 1-0 loss to New Zealand in Klagenfurt on Saturday did little to raise spirits in the country, in a match that ended in riots by supporters completely disillusioned by the performance of their side.
Defender Nemanja Vidic was forced to ask them to calm down over the stadium's tannoy and they hoped to prove the match was a mere blip but they did not do much to appease their worried supporters against Poland.
Their dismal start to the match was almost made worse in the seventh minute as Dejan Stankovic hobbled off with an ankle injury amid heavy downpours in Kufstein.
However, the Inter Milan midfielder was able to come back onto the pitch.
He could do little to help his team as Poland were firmly in charge in the opening spell and they had the best chance of the game in the 17th minute when Robert Lewandowski saw his effort from point-blank range blocked.
That was one of the few efforts on target in a night of wayward shooting which will have given Antic much to think about with the World Cup fast approaching.
Serbia slowly began to get a foothold in the match and their first real chance came in the 27th minute when Milos Krasic raced down the right flank before releasing Danko Lazovic, whose attempt was superbly stopped by Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Both teams had several more chances to break the deadlock in the first half as the rain continued to pour down but neither goalkeeper was troubled.
Antic rang the changes after the break, making four substitutions and matters improved slightly as the rain eased off.
Zoran Tosic, who had replaced Stankovic, carved out a free-kick from distance but Fabianski made a good save while shortly afterwards fellow substitute Vladimir Stojkovic pulled off a brilliant stop to deny Jakub Blaszczykowski at the other end.
Serbia should have broken the deadlock in the 73rd minute when Dragan Mrdja picked out Marko Pantelic just inside the six-yard box but the Ajax striker blazed over much to his embarrassment.
The game was halted twice as individual Serbia fans raced onto the pitch but there was no mass disruption as on Saturday.
Serbia have one more warm-up game, against Cameroon on Saturday, and kick off their World Cup campaign against Ghana on June 13 before they also face Germany and Australia in Group D.