Ian Walton - Getty Images
Serbia had more than their share of chances, but paid the price as Belgium's perfectly worked counterattacks gave them all three points.
Serbia certainly had plenty of chances in their World Cup qualifying match against Belgium, but lacked the precision to make any of their shots count. Instead, it's the Belgians that come away from Belgrade with all three points, temporarily narrowing Group A to a competition between themselves and Croatia.
The home side had the majority of the chances in the first half, but failed to seriously challenge Thibaut Courtois in goal. Their best chance came just two minutes in, when Zoran Tosic cut inside and drove his shot off the post. Dusan Tadic did nearly the same just a few minutes later, but this time Courtois was called into action to palm the ball away.
Belgian withstood quite the onslaught of shots before taking the lead in the 34th minute, against the run of play. Christian Benteke, who'd already forced Zeljko Brkic into a couple of nice saves, got behind the Serbian defense and on the end of a perfect cross from Kevin De Bruyne. The ball needed just a tap from the Aston Villa forward, but for once, there was no way he could miss.
Serbia started off the second half in much the same manner as they had the first. Tosic again got a shot off inside two minutes, but this time, the ball went well wide of goal. The miss set the tone for Serbia's play in the second half.
In the 51st minute, the pressure from the home side very nearly resulted in an equalizer, as a series of shots pummeled the Belgian defense from close range. But Thomas Vermaelen eventually managed to clear the ball, setting up a great counterattack for his side. Eden Hazard had the perfect chance to make it two, going one on one with Brkic, but the keeper managed to get just a finger on the ball to keep it out of goal.
But by the 68th minute, the enormous keeper's luck had worn off. The Serbia defense, stretched in their desperation to find an equalizer, made the mistake of allowing Kevin De Bruyne in behind them. The architect of the first goal, the second was all his as he sidestepped an onrushing Brkic to slot home.
The second goal more or less knocked the wind out of Serbia's sails. Sure, they tried for a few more minutes, but with ten minutes left to go, it was obvious they were utterly out of ideas. That Belgium scored a third, then, came as no great surprise. The goal came from yet another counter, with Jan Vertonghen charging up the left. The Tottenham Hotspur player slotted over to substitute Kevin Mirallas, who had no trouble knocking it past Brkic.