Serbia and Montenegro are out of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship despite a comeback victory against the Republic of Ireland - who remain in with a chance of qualification.
While the Irish had begun their Elite round Group 2 campaign with a 2-1 win against neighbours Northern Ireland, the Serbo-Montenegrins had lost 3-1 to pool hosts England. And it seemed Ireland were on their way to three more points when in the 17th minute Anthony Stokes scored for the second time in the mini-tournament.
Extra man decisive
But Ireland did not make the most of their early dominance, and just after losing the lead to Miloš Živanovic's equaliser had Robert Bayly sent off. Playing against ten men, Serbia and Montenegro took their chance when Miralem Sulejmani struck nine minutes from time and went on to secure their fourth win in their five 2004/05 qualifiers.
However, England's 3-1 win against Northern Ireland today means that even if Serbia and Montenegro beat Northern Ireland and Sean McCaffrey's side defeat England on Wednesday, Zlatko Krmpotic's team will be pipped by either Ireland or England to a place in the Italian-hosted finals in a three-way head-to-head record tie-breaker.
The Republic of Ireland Under 17s lost 2-1 to Serbia and Montenegro meaning they need to beat England 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the UEFA Championships in Italy.
A 2-0 victory over England would ensure Ireland finish top of the group on goal difference, having already beaten Northern Ireland 2-1, to reach the finals for the first time since 1998.
Ireland started the game brightly taking the lead through Anthony Stokes but missed plenty of chances to seal the victory before Serbia came storming back scoring an equaliser before Robert Bayly was sent off.
With just ten men, Ireland faced an uphill battle and eventually conceded a second goal leaving them with the difficult task of getting a two-goal victory over hosts England at Walsall on Wednesday.