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Kolarov aids Serbia recovery

Kolerov Generic Shot2

Kolerov Generic Shot2

City stars Aleks Kolarov and Vincent Kompany kicked off the international weekend in style to boost their countries' hopes of qualifying for next year's European Championship finals.

Kolarov's Serbia recovered from going a goal down against Northern Ireland to win 2-1 in a near-deserted Red Star Belgrade Stadium, with Serb fans banned following last year's Genoa riot.

Northern Ireland delighted their 265 travelling fans by taking a first-half lead through Gareth McAuley's header, but Kolarov helped set up a Pantilic equaliser before Tosic's winner.

Victory left Serbia third in Group C on seven points, six behind leaders Italy, who omitted Mario Balotelli from the squad that won by the only goal in Slovenia.

Kompany's Belgium pulled off a key 2-0 triumph over Austria in Vienna, with Axel Witsel claiming the goals that leave the Belgians level with Austria but still trailing Group A leaders Germany.

Nigel de Jong's Holland were comfortable 4-0 winners against Hungary to maintain their 100 per cent start with 15 points from five games. Van der Vaart, Kuyt and Van Persie all scored.

David Silva didn't start Spain's tie with the Czech Republic at the Bernabeu, but the world champions came from a goal down to win 2-1 with two from David Villa, who became Spain's record scorer.

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