The match was played at Norwich. The stadium wasnât full but there where spectators from both teams. The match started with a lot of passion since both teams wanted a positive result in accordance with the second leg. UEFA assigned First Category Deniz Aytekin to be in charge of this game. Guido Kleve and Stefan Lupp functioned as his assistants and Daniel Siebert as fourth official.
Aytekin had a weird game to handle. From the beginning it seemed that the match was meant to have too much passion. At the first minute Aytekin issued the 1st yellow card to Despotonovic (SRB) for a reckless tackle to Dawson (ENG). After that he issued 2 more until min. 7â (min. 6 to Pantic [SRB] for pulling shirt of Ince [ENG] and min. 7â to Sterling [ENG] again for pulling shirt of Markovic [SRB]). Those 3 very fast YC gave the tone of the referee to both teams and as a result the match became normal. He had a clear line and became a little lenient after the first 10 minutes. At min. 21â there was a slight holding inside Serbiaâs penalty area to Sterling (ENG) from Medojevic (SRB) but not worthy of a penalty. Until the end of the first half he had some overlooked fouls but nothing major.
In the second half he started at the same way. He tried to let the game flow and give only the fouls which were necessary. The most difficult situation happened at min. 64â when Smith (ENG) tried to get into the penalty area but was brought down by Milunovic (SRB) right at the edge of it. It was a correct and crucial decision since England scored the only goal of the match. After that he didnât had too much to handle except another YC for a Serbian player (Medojevic min. 73 for a foul to Ince (ENG) and possibly 2 missed Yellow cards for Serbian players (min. 58â and min. 83â)
Overall it was a good performance with a few minor mistakes but with the crucial decision correctly taken.
The first assistant didnât really had much to do (no offsideâs) but he had several fouls to help the referee and 2 no-offside calls which led to English efforts on goals. The second assistant had 4 offside calls (all correct, min. 12â, 44â. 61â, 90+1â). Furthermore he was possibly involved in the penalty situation and seemed to help the referee. Overall a very good performance.