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Beating Serbia, New Zealand's biggest football victory: Coach

New Zealand football coach Ricki Herbert hailed his side's 1-0 win over Serbia in a friendly in Klagenfurt as the national team's best-ever win.

sports Updated: Jun 01, 2010 13:28 IST

New Zealand football coach Ricki Herbert hailed his side's 1-0 win over Serbia in a friendly in Klagenfurt as the national team's best-ever win.

Serbia is the world's 15th top side, according to the FIFA rankings. New Zealand, which will be at the World Cup finals in South Africa for only the second time, is, on the other hand, ranked at 78.

"It's a fantastic result," Herbert told Radio New Zealand. "It's the best we've ever had in the history of the game - to beat a team at that level."

The Serbian side included a number of players in the top ranks of European football, including members of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Ajax clubs.

The result was seen as a big confidence boost for the New Zealanders and Herbert said it would send shockwaves around the footballing world as the finalists prepare for South Africa.

Serbian fans became angry at their side's performance and captain Nemanja Vidic had to appeal for calm over the stadium microphone as they threw burning flares and bottles on to the pitch in the second half, Radio New Zealand reported.

Several invaded the pitch and were dragged away by security officers, before Vidic made his appeal as the New Zealanders were getting ready to walk off.