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Serbia's early attacks were concentrated down the wings through Milos Krasic and Milan Jovanovic.
Krasic was jeered until his substitution in the 62nd as the majority Australian support in the crowd thought he had dived looking for a penalty in the second minute.
Serbia could have scored in the 12th minute when Milos Ninkovic broke through midfield from an Australia corner and put Krasic clear, but the winger was forced wide by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and shot off target.
Schwarzer also did well to block defender Branislav Ivanovic's effort from close range, while Nikola Zigic could have done better with a free header from Zdravko Kuzmanovic's cross in the first half.
When the Socceroos did finally get the ball into a better crossing position, Mark Bresciano's delivery was skewed wide by Cahill rising at the back post.
Australia started the second half brightly and Bresciano, Tim Cahill and Jason Culina all tried their luck from distance.
In the 69th minute, Cahill put the Australians ahead with a glancing header from Luke Wilkshire's cross.
And four minutes later, Brett Holman added the second from long range.Serbia looked beaten, but Marko Pantelic pulled a goal back for Serbia in the 84th for a frantic finale.
Pantelic then had a chance for a late equalizer but couldn't control a bouncing ball. If Serbia had drawn, the team would have advanced ahead of Ghana, but Australia's defense held and it ended 2-1. Both teams finished their journey in the 2010 World Cup.
|Serbia's early attacks were concentrated down the wings through Milos Krasic and |