Northern Ireland has made a good start to their Euro 2012 qualifier game against Serbia.

The game began in Belgrade with only 250 Northern Ireland fans in the stadium there to watch their team. Severe restrictions have been enforced for the game following a riot at Serbia's previous Euro qualifying game.

Proceedings began relatively quietly with neither side offering a serious threat to the other. Northern Ireland got an early chance with a free kick from about 30 yards out but Brunt sent it straight to the Serbian keeper. Just minutes later Brunt got another chance but was cleared by Tosic.

While Northern Ireland made the first forays into enemy territory it was Serbia which set hearts racing when Ivanovic shot from 15 yards away after a Serb corner was cleared by Cathcart. Ivanovic very nearly made it 1-0 but had his shot cleared off the line by McAuley.

Northern Ireland survived but were soon given a scare of a different kind when the normally resilient Hughes went down and called for a stretcher. Thankfully though, after some brief treatment on his shoulder Hughes was back on the field and blocking Serb attackers.

Serbia appeared to be on the up with Stankovic taking a shot from 25 yards, only for Camp to save it. Tosic also nearly got on to the end of pass from Ljajic but was denied by J Evans.

Stankovic later found himself being booked after bad tackle on J Evans.

With five minutes to go of the first half Northern Ireland were granted another free kick 30 yards from goal. Again Brunt took it but this time it found McAuley who headed it into the top corner.

At half time in a near empty stadium Northern Ireland lead 1-0.