Serbia hoping home wins will be enough

BELGRADE - Serbia have taken a big step towards reaching the 2010 World Cup finals after beating Romania in their Group Seven qualifier on Saturday and must now get the job done on home soil, coach Radomir Antic said. "We are halfway there, but we now need to carry our good form into the home games in Belgrade to accomplish our mission," Antic told local media after the Serbians' 3-2 away win kept them top of the group. "I want not only to qualify for the tournament in South Africa, but also to build a team with a winners' mentality able to impose their authority on the pitch." The win left Serbia top with 12 points from five matches, three more than Lithuania and five ahead of France, who have played a game less. Antic singled out winger Milan Jovanovic, who had recently returned from illness, as Serbia's most impressive player in Constanta. "Jovanovic was only half-fit and not at his best, but even so he was a handful for Romania's defence and played his heart out like he always does. "We beat an excellent team but I have to be honest and say that we did not control the game in the closing stages." Serbia, who are at home to Austria in their next match on June 6, will also host France and Romania in Belgrade, while they are away to Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. Centre-back Nemanja Vidic believes the toughest part of qualifying is yet to come for Serbia, with only the group winners guaranteed an automatic berth in the finals. "We are not getting carried away because we are not there yet and we have three difficult home games," he added. "We played a great game but there is no time to rest on laurels and we have to focus on the task ahead."