Serbia secured a 1-1 draw with France in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday evening, consolidating its lead in Group Seven for a berth at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
A 13-minute penalty from Nenad Milijas gave Serbia the lead in front of 55,000 passionate fans in Belgrade's Red Star Stadium.
The spot kick was ordered after French keeper Hugo Lloris was sent off for bringing down Serbian striker Nikola Zigic in the penalty area.
The Frenchmen soon took their revenge and Thierry Henry scored the equalizer in the 31st minute.
After Wednesday's matches, Serbia leads the Group Seven with 19 points after eight games, four points more than France. Third-placed Austria has 11 points. Lithuania is level on nine points with Romania. Faroe Islands is at the bottom with four points.
According to relevant rules, the group winners in the European zone qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals directly while the best eight runners-up from the nine groups go through to a play-off for four tickets.
(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2009)