Vidic calms rioters after loss
The Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic was forced to appeal to Serbia fans for calm as they rioted during his side's 1-0 friendly defeat by New Zealand in Klagenfurt.sports Updated: May 31, 2010 02:13 IST
The Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic was forced to appeal to Serbia fans for calm as they rioted during his side's 1-0 friendly defeat by New Zealand in Klagenfurt.
During the second half of the World Cup warm-up in Austria, fans began throwing flares and missiles on to the turf while a number of fans ran on to the pitch before being captured by stewards. Vidic was standing in as Serbia's captain in the absence of Dejan Stankovic and had to speak over the public-address system to placate fans with New Zealand apparently ready to abandon the game.
After a few minutes the trouble calmed and the action restarted, with Serbia unable to salvage anything from the match.
New Zealand's goalscorer, Shane Smeltz, said his side would not get carried away despite the victory. Smeltz scored the only goal midway through the first half as the All Whites upset a side 63 places above them in the Fifa world rankings.
"It's great to get a win over a nation like Serbia who some are saying are dark horses for the World Cup," he said. "We'll take some confidence from it obviously, but we won't be getting carried away."
The New Zealand coach, Ricki Herbert, picked out a number of his less experienced players for special praise. "It's always been about performance for us, but a win like this over a top-class nation like Serbia is a great bonus," he said. "We made four changes and I thought Tommy Smith and Winston Reid, who only have three caps between them, did extremely well at the back alongside the captain [Ryan Nelsen].
"Jeremy Christie came into midfield and did well and Chris Wood in his first start against a big team was outstanding."
The Germany coach, Joachim Löw, admits he now faces a very tough decision after his side beat Hungary 3-0 in Budapest on Saturday and had some reassuring words for the striker Miroslav Klose who has struggled to find form in recent matches.
Löw must cut two players from his squad before submitting his 23-man list to Fifa on Tuesday.
First Published: May 31, 2010 00:56 IST