Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic battles for possession with Republic of Ireland's with Andrew Omobamidele

Rep Ire 1 – 1 Serbia


Republic of Eire produced a spirited second-half show to safe a morale-boosting 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in opposition to Serbia on the Aviva Stadium.

Three days on from escaping an embarrassing defeat to Azerbaijan, Eire discovered themselves needing to supply one other Dublin comeback when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s good near-post header gave Serbia the lead halfway although the primary half.

Serbia peppered the Irish purpose in the hunt for the two-goal victory wanted to revive them as Group A leaders after Portugal’s win in Azerbaijan however discovered 19-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in impressed kind as he produced a string of saves to maintain Eire’s hopes of salvaging one thing from the sport alive.

And, with 4 minutes remaining, salvage some extent they did as Milinkovic-Savic’s determined goal-line clearance cannoned into the Serbia internet off team-mate Nikola Milenkovic, sparking wild celebratory scenes among the many raucous Irish crowd.

Stephen Kenny’s look forward to a primary aggressive victory answerable for Eire now stands at 12 video games, and the Republic have now collected three factors in 16 makes an attempt in complete relationship again to June 2019, however their battling efficiency can have felt like greater than some extent regardless of it doing little for his or her World Cup qualification hopes.

Participant scores

Republic of Eire: Bazunu (8), Omobamidele (8), Duffy (7), Egan (6), Doherty (6), Browne (6), Hendrick (7), McGrath (6), McClean (6), Cullen (6), Idah (7).

Subs: Hourihane (6), Robinson (6), Horgan (6), Molumby (5), Collins (5).

Serbia: Rajkovic (6), Pavlovic (6), Veljkovic (6), Milenkovic (4), Gudelj (7), Milinkovic-Savic (6), Kostic (7), Djuricic (6), Tadic (8), Vlahovic (6), A Mitrovic (6).

Subs: Radonjic (6), Jovic (5), Lazovic (n/a), Maksimovic (n/a).

Man of the match: Gavin Bazunu

Eire struggle again for spirited draw

Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic battles for possession with Republic of Ireland's with Andrew Omobamidele
Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic battles for possession with Republic of Eire’s Andrew Omobamidele

Serbia boss Dragan Stojkovic signalled his intent from the second he submitted a teamsheet which featured Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic in a frontline supported by Dusan Tadic and widemen Filip Kostic and Filip Djuricic.

The guests compelled two early corners and had been nearly gifted the opening purpose inside the first 5 minutes by Shane Duffy’s miscontrol, though Bazunu got here to his captain’s rescue by blocking Vlahovic’s try.

Bazunu needed to subject Nemanja Gudelj’s 14th-minute strike from distance after Duffy had cleared the newest of a sequence of excessive balls, however the ‘keeper was examined additional by the identical man moments later after the midfielder had been allowed time and area to work his method into place.

Crew information

  • Andrew Omobamidele made his first Republic of Eire begin and Jamie McGrath, Jeff Hendrick and Alan Browne returned as Stephen Kenny made 4 adjustments following the draw with Azerbaijan.
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic was given the inexperienced gentle to play regardless of struggling a facial damage in opposition to Luxembourg, and Milos Veljkovic, Filip Djuricic and Dusan Vlahovic returned as Serbia made three adjustments forward of the journey to Dublin.

Serbia took the lead with 20 minutes gone when Milinkovic-Savic bought throughout his marker on the close to publish to look Tadic’s pushed nook previous Bazunu regardless of the ‘keeper getting a hand to the ball.

Predrag Rajkovic was relieved to assert Jeff Hendrick’s Twenty sixth-minute free-kick with the minimal of fuss after Jamie McGrath’s progress had been halted illegally by Djuricic. Adam Idah was cautioned, maybe harshly, for a excessive boot as he tried to beat defender Strahinja Pavlovic to James McClean’s teasing cross as Eire responded.

Bazunu did nicely to beat away Mitrovic’s Thirty ninth-minute strike from Vlahovic’s adept lay-off after which handled the ensuing nook, however Serbia’s motion and complex passing recreation was repeatedly exposing holes within the house defence.

Serbia's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Serbia celebrates after scoring against Republic of Ireland
Serbia’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Serbia celebrates after placing his facet forward

Having left lone striker Idah painfully unsupported for a lot of the primary half, Eire tried to treatment that within the early phases of the second, though Alan Browne was unable to direct McClean’s Forty ninth-minute cross at purpose amid an encouraging begin.

Bazunu needed to repel Mitrovic’s 57th-minute effort after Tadic and Djuricic had mixed delightfully and he then pulled off a fair higher cease three minutes later to disclaim the Fulham striker when he had related with Kostic’s cross.

{The teenager} got here to the rescue as soon as once more with a double save from substitute Nemanja Radonjic and one other from Kostic, having wanted McClean’s assist after shedding his bearings 13 minutes from time with the sport opening up, and his heroics had been rewarded on the loss of life.

Republic of Ireland's John Egan and Shane Duffy celebrates the own goal of Serbia's Nikola Milenkovic
Republic of Eire’s John Egan and Shane Duffy rejoice the personal purpose of Serbia’s Nikola Milenkovic

In his efforts to clear substitute Callum Robinson’s cross, Milinkovic-Savic blasted the ball at Milenkovic and seemed on in horror because the ball ricocheted into his personal internet to spark a late house onslaught which in the end failed to supply a winner.

Opta stats

  • Republic of Eire are winless of their final 16 aggressive matches in all competitions (D9 L7), 12 of which have come since Stephen Kenny succeeded Mick McCarthy as supervisor in September final yr (D6 L6).
  • Serbia at the moment are unbeaten in every of their final 11 EURO/World Cup qualifying matches (incl. playoffs – W7 D4), sitting simply two factors behind Portugal after 5 video games on the prime of group A of their quest for Qatar (W3 D2).
  • Every of Republic of Eire’s final 5 house objectives in aggressive matches have come within the eighty fifth minute or later, with Serbia’s personal purpose this night coming within the 86th minute.
  • Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s 4 objectives for Serbia have are available his final eight appearances, after none in his first 16 caps.
  • Dusan Tadic’s nook for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s opener was his fifth help in 2022 World Cup qualifying, probably the most of any European participant to this point.

What the supervisor mentioned…

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Republic of Eire supervisor Stephen Kenny believed his gamers gave it the whole lot however solely managed a draw in opposition to a robust Serbian workforce.

Republic of Eire supervisor Stephen Kenny: “Regardless that it was our third recreation in six days, confirmed super spirit, performed plenty of good soccer and bought a break that we did not get earlier within the week, once we may have had 4 factors not less than, six, coming into this recreation.

“We really misplaced within the 97th minute in opposition to Portugal, so I assumed the gamers simply gave the whole lot tonight – as they did in all of the video games. They’ve given the whole lot of themselves.

“We have solely had one defeat in six video games, and that was a 97-minute recreation in opposition to Portugal. If we grasp on in opposition to Portugal the opposite day, that is six unbeaten. We simply want to show the attracts into wins, we have had too many attracts.

“We have blooded 13 gamers in six months, made their debuts. It was at all times going to be an upward curve with that, and plenty of them we’ll see the advantage of that now over the subsequent yr.

“You’ve got seen gamers who individuals had by no means heard of are available, they usually find out about a few of them now. And there is some extra to come back as nicely.”

Man of the Match – Gavin Bazunu

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Republic of Eire goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu says his facet wish to push onto that subsequent stage after the younger ‘keeper made 10 saves in opposition to Serbia

Regardless of conceding in all three matches, Gavin Bazunu made 18 saves from 22 pictures on course confronted throughout Republic of Eire’s three matches within the final week, together with 10 in opposition to Serbia on this recreation (5 v Portugal, 3 v Azerbaijan).

What’s subsequent?

Republic of Eire resume their World Cup qualifying marketing campaign away in Azerbaijan on October 9 at 5pm – stay on Sky Sports activities Soccer – earlier than Serbia journey to Luxembourg on the identical day at 7.45pm – stay on Sky Sports activities Soccer purple button.


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