Zigic scores and sees red as Serbia beat Bulgaria

SOFIA - Substitute striker Nikola Zigic scored 10 minutes from time to give Serbia a 1-0 friendly win over neighbours Bulgaria on Wednesday before being sent off in stoppage-time.

The tall Birmingham City frontman, who replaced Radoslav Petrovic at half-time, pounced on a defensive error to grab the winner in the pouring rain at the Vasil Levski national stadium in what was Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaus' home debut.

Serbia, playing their first international since violent supporters forced the team's Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy to be abandoned in Genoa on October 12, were reduced to 10 men when Zigic was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

Germany's former World Cup winning captain Matthaus had begun his Bulgaria reign with a 1-0 victory over Wales in the Euro 2012 Group G qualifier last month, which was followed by a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia in a friendly game in Turkey.

"I think we were beaten by a goal that was offside but still I'm pleased with our performance," Matthaus told reporters.

"I don't like to lose, no matter in Bulgaria or somewhere else but let's not forget that we're missing several key players because of injuries," he added.