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Croatia Beats Serbia In Tense World Cup Qualifier

Croatia beat Serbia 2-0 in a highly charged World Cup qualifier in Zagreb.

Croatia keeps the lead in Group A, while the loss made it unlikely that Serbia will qualify for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

Serbian players were greeted with nationalist chants from the packed Maksimir Stadium, where thousands of riot police officers were deployed to prevent violence.

Serbia fans have been banned from attending the match, and Croatia supporters for the return leg in Belgrade in September.

The two former Yugoslav republics fought each other between 1991 and 1995 after Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia.

Relations have since improved but sports events involving their teams remain high-risk.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa