This past weekend Serbia defeated Hungary and qualified for the European Championship.
Nearly a 1,000 American football fans braved the rain this past Saturday to watch Serbia’s national American football team dominate Hungary 56-0 (14: 0, 21: 0, 14: 0, 7: 0) at TC Stadium in Belgrade, Serbia.
The match started great for Serbia, who scored on their first drive when David Hanomihl Lukic hit Nikola Simovic for a 26-yard touchdown pass. The pass was setup by breakout run by Serbian running back Mikhail Josovici that gave his team excellent field position.
It was not long before the Serbian fans had another reason to cheer.
On the ensuing Hungarian drive, helped by a string of penalties to Serbia, Hungary reached the Serbian red zone only to watch as Serbian defensive back Darko Cvetkovic stepped in front of a Hungarian pass and came up with the interception and returned it 90 yards for the score. 14-0 Serbia.
It was evident by the second quarter, regardless of the penalties the over-eager Serbians were racking up, that the Hungarians were out-matched at the stadium in Vozdovac. For the remainder of the game the guests were unable to seriously threaten the Serbian defense.
So, with the defense playing so well, the offense went to work. Serbian quarterback Hanomihl Lukic found wide receiver Strahinja Stepović on the sideline who then went 40 yards for Serbia’s next score, widening the gap to 21-0.
It seemed as if the Serbian offense and defense were to take turns in scoring, because shortly thereafter a Hungarian pass was picked off and returned for a touchdown. Marko Bates made the grab and increased their lead 28- 0.
In the closing seconds of the first half, once again the Serbs managed to score, and this time with Strahinja Stepović assuming the role of quarterback and finding receiver Stefan Borković seven yards out for the 35-0 lead,.
Even after the break, the Serbians showed no sign of slowing down. Straight out of half-time the Serbs put together a long drive capped off by a 1-yard TD by running back Mirko Slavković.
The Hungarian offense continued to sputter and the Serbs were soon on the attack again. The next score came by way of a spectacular run from Miroslav Stankić, who took advantage of a few blocks and wound his way through the middle of the Hungarian defense for a 45 yard touchdown. 49-0 at the end of the third quarter.
The Serbian defense scored again when Milos Lišanin literally snatched the ball from the hands of Hungary’s quarterback and then took to the end zone sprinting 25 yards to the end zone finalizing the score at 56-0.
With this win the Serbian national team has qualified for the European Championship Group B tournament, which will be held next year in Italy, and will feature Serbia, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, Great Britain, Czech Republic, and the winner of Belgium and Holland.
The winner and runners-up of the European Championship Group B will have the opportunity to battle with Denmark or Sweden, members of Group A of the European selection, for a spot among this elite group.
7: 0 David Hanomihl Lukic 26-yard pass to Nikola Simovic, Darko Klasan successful PAT.
14: 0 Darko Cvetkovic 90 yard interception return for TD, Klasan successful PAT.
21: 0 David Hanomihl Lukic 40-yard pass to Strahinja Stepović, Klasan successful PAT.
28: 0 Marko Bates 18 yards interception return for TD, Klasan successful PAT.
35: 0 Strahinja Stepović 7-yard pass to Stefan Borković, Klasan successful PAT.
42: 0 Mirko Slavković 1- yard TD run, Klasan successful PAT.
49: 0 Miroslav Stankić 45-yard TD run, Klasan successful PAT.
56: 0 Milos Lišanin 25-yard fumble return for a TD, Klasan successful PAT.