2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Result: Serbia 2-2 Portugal
Date: 27 March 2021
Venue: Red Star Stadium
Portugal squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 draw with Serbia in a 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Group A on Saturday evening.
Diogo Jota and Bruno Fernandes headlined Portugal’s changes from the narrow win over Azerbaijan with veteran defender Jose Fonte also given a recall.
The Portuguese put their noses in front in no less than ten minutes after Jota made a blind run in behind the defence to nod a ball from Bernardo Silva in off the ground and into the net.
Serbia started to come out of their shelve following the quiet start and threatened to draw level courtesy of a teasing attempt from Ajax Amsterdam’s Dusan Tadic.
Jota would go on to make matters more comfortable for his side ten minutes to halftime when he headed home a cross from the right-side in off the far post.
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Serbia made two changes at the break, as Nemanja Maksimovic entered for Darko Lazovic and Dusan Vlahovic sacrificed in place of Nemanja Radonjic.
It proved an inspired substitution after Aleksandar Mitrovic leaped in the centre of the six-yard area to head home Radonjic’s teasing delivery.
The Selecao were under increasing pressure from the home side a little later as a first-time volley outside the area from Tadic brought goalkeeper Anthony Lopes into sharp reflexes.
Serbia proved more decisive inside 60 minutes after a swift counter-attack from one end of the pitch to the other allocated Filip Kostic, who made no mistake with a close-range finish.
After a quiet spell, the Serbians finished the match with ten players when Nikola Milenkovic picked up a red card for a rash challenge.
Portugal looked to seal the winner in the final seconds of the match through Cristiano Ronaldo and Silva, but Stefan Mitrovic produced a dramatic goal-line clearance to see out a draw, although replays showed the ball had crossed the line.