Slovakia denied in Zilina
Slovakia were denied a share of second place in Group G as Lithuania ground out a creditable 1-1 draw.
Last Updated: 22/03/13 11:11pm
Slovakia were denied a share of second place in World Cup qualifying Group G as Lithuania ground out a creditable 1-1 draw in Zilina.
The hosts quickly cancelled out Darvydas Sernas' opener but, despite their dominance all over the pitch, a header from Jan Durica was the sum total of their efforts.
The draw saw third-placed Slovakia move up to eight points, two points behind second-placed Greece, while Lithuania remain in fourth with five points.
The visitors survived two early scares before taking the lead.
First, Juraj Kucka nodded Marek Sapara's free-kick just over the crossbar before Marek Hamsik drilled off target.
So it was a surprise when Sernas found space and time in the box to fire the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute.
Slovakia responded strongly and, after Zydrunas Karcemarskas had parried another Hamsik drive, the scores were level within seven minutes.
This time a Sapara free-kick resulted in a goal as Durica rose highest to beat Karcemarskas.
Deividas Matulevicius had Dusan Kuciak sprawling after the break but Slovakia pushed on for the victory, Sapara rattling a post in the 58th minute.
With time ticking away, Hamsik, Kucka and Sapara all blazed shots wide before Sernas' own late bid for a shock winner sailed into the stands.