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Follow how Serbia's tournament unfolded in our World Cup Reds blog.

Five journalists each adopted a nation containing a United representative at this summer's World Cup. Unfortunately, they've all been eliminated, so this week we're reviewing their campaigns...
29/06/2010 08:00, Report by Nick Coppack

World Cup review: Serbia

Serbia promised so much at South Africa 2010 but delivered so little...

Our man in Africa: Hard-as-nails central defender Nemanja Vidic.
Nation: Serbia.
Appearances/goals: 3/0.
Results: 0-1 Ghana, 1-0 Germany, 1-2 Australia.
In short: Indiscipline (two penalties conceded, one red card) and a lack of firepower up front cost Serbia dearly, as the White Eagles finished bottom of Group D. 
So, what happened? Players like Vidic, Branislav Ivanovic, Milos Krasic and Dejan Stankovic are among the finest in Europe, and yet the Serbians never reached anything near top gear in South Africa. Even their victory against Germany came against 10 men and was achieved despite their opponents enjoying more possession, taking more shots and winning seven times as many corners. But at least that result gave Serbia the chance to reach the last 16 with victory over Australia. Again, though, the White Eagles underwhelmed and, crucially, conceded twice in four minutes midway through the second half. From there, there was no way back.
Anything to tell the grandkids? It's probably best for everyone that Serbia's South African adventures are forgotten. Except, maybe, goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, who did the impossible and became the first person to save a German spot-kick in 24 years. Our man Nemanja won't even care to recall that moment – it was his error that led to the penalty award.
If they were an animal on a South African safari, they'd be... Kudu. These antelope look as if they should be dangerous but actually pose minimal threat.
Back home in a bar, they're saying... Not again! Okay, so it wasn't quite as bad as 2006 but finishing bottom of the group is nothing to be proud of.


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