Serbia 2 - 2 Republic of Ireland | 2018 - FIFA World Cup | 2017779

FIFA World Cup Qualifying Round | Stadion Rajko Mitić, Belgrade
5 September 2016 - 20:45 (local time)

Serbia 2 - 2 Republic of Ireland

Kostić(62) Tadić(69pen) Full-time Hendrick(3) Murphy(81)
Serbia Republic of Ireland

REPORT: Serbia 2-2 Ireland

The Republic of Ireland senior international team commenced its qualifying campaign for World Cup 2018 with a 2-2 away draw in Belgrade against Serbia.
Daryl Murphy celebrate.jpg
6th Sep 2016

Match one of the 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign came around quickly. An away match in Belgrade a serious round one obstacle.

But Ireland walked out onto the pitch showing little sign that they felt the pressure. And it only took a mere three minutes for the score to reflect this.

A low Brady drive was parried by the keeper into the path of John O’Shea and the big centre half semi-swivelled to return the ball back into the six yard zone. A bobble off a Shane Long shin into the path of Jeff Hendrick who hit a sweet strike with his left boot. A deflection off Ivanovic under the palms of the Serbian keeper into the back of the net. Not the most beautifully scripted of goals but the weight of its importance was reflected in Hendrick’s wide smile.

The game continued as pacey as it began, both teams moving the ball quickly and the objective clearly to be as direct as possible.

From a distance the pitch looked woeful. Replays only served to highlight the uneven nature of the pitch. Perhaps this added to the clear physicality of the football on show. Stephen Ward saw yellow as his strong challenge was deemed a fraction too strong. Hendrick suffered the same fate a short time later.

The Serbians grew into the game and began to gather a hold of possession. Darren Randolph was busy, being called into action three times in a matter of minutes. His second save in particular, a low left hand to the drive of Tadic, was vital.

The pressure from Serbia grew. A corner in the 35th minute resulted in a scramble in the box. Irish relief as the ball finally dribbled wide of the right post. With ten minutes to go until half time, it was about retaining the lead and allowing time to re strategize during the break.   

Ireland’s other major chance came in the dying moments of the second half. Another Brady free kick, met by the head of Walters. This time Rajkovic’s parry was effective.

Serbia showed unrelenting pressure in the second half, and it soon paid off. O’Shea struggled to win a long pass into the Irish box and it broke through to an unmarked Kostic in front of goal. He made no mistake to coolly slot it by Randolph to make it a 1-1 game.

Ten minutes later and circumstances took a further dip for Ireland. Kostic touched the ball past Walters and went down in the box. The referee blew for a penalty and Tadic made no mistake to convert.

The increase of tired legs in the final fifteen was matched by an increase in drama. Serbia struck the crossbar, Ireland had a goal ruled out for offside, followed swiftly by a diving header from McClean over the bar.

And then the drama increased another notch. Substitute Daryl Murphy the hero of the moment in the 81st minute with a header from corner. Poor defending but an excellent conversion. 2-2 and the octave of the Belgrade noise grew again.

The dying minutes witnessed no mellowing of action. Ivanovic found himself clear on goal and his effort forced a sharp Randolph save, which deflected off Walters, and finally resulted a clearance from Coleman off the line.

As the final whistle blew so did the chests off the Irish contingent in Belgrade. An arduous task overcome, and a point that many others may struggle to achieve in future visits to the Serbian capital.    

IRELAND: Randolph; Ward (Quinn 70), Keogh, O’Shea, Coleman, Brady, Hendrick; (Murphy 77), Whelan, McClean, Walters, Long; (Clark 90)   

SERBIA: Rajkovic;  Ivanovic, Nastasic, Vukovic, Rukavina, Mladenovic (D Tosic 76), Gudelj, Milivojevic, Kostic (Katai 82), Tadic, Mitrovic (Pavlovic 59)

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hun)

Preview: Serbia v Ireland

The road to Russia starts in Belgrade for the Republic of Ireland as they take on Serbia in their opening FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier on Monday evening.
SeamusColeman1.jpg
4th Sep 2016

Martin O'Neill took a lot of positives away from the 'Three' International Friendly triumph over Oman, but he will be amongst the first to acknowledge just how difficult it will be to pick up three points in the first game of Group D.

The good news is that there are no new injury concerns with both Seamus Coleman and John O'Shea having come through sessions at FAI National Training Centre prior to the departure to Belgrade.

Even better news is that O'Neill has plenty of options. Only two players (Shay Given & Robbie Keane) have retired since UEFA EURO 2016, while two more (Shane Duffy & James McCarthy) are unavailable for this fixture, so experience is still something that is stacked in Ireland's favour.

For O'Neill to call on such experience is vital to the team's preparations. For example, O'Shea is entering into his fourth FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, while there is a combined 831 senior caps amongst the Ireland squad compared to 502 in Serbia's squad.

With games still to come against Georgia, Moldova, Austria and Wales, O'Neill is aware of the importance of this first qualifier and what a victory would mean. It is why he will sending his players out with the intention of upsetting their hosts.

Serbia v Republic of Ireland
Monday, September 5
Stadion Rajko Mitic
Kick-Off: 19:45 (20:45 local time)
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
TV: LIVE on RTE2, Sky Sports 2

HEAD TO HEAD
Friendly: Republic of Ireland 1-1 Serbia - May 24, 2008 (Croke Park)
Friendly: Serbia 0-0 Republic of Ireland - October 15, 2012 (Stadion Crvena Zvezda)
Friendly: Republic of Ireland 1-2 Serbia - March 5, 2014 (Aviva Stadium)

SAFETY & SECURITY
There will be a Fan Zone set up in the Student Square in Belgrade for Republic of Ireland supporters. After gathering at 17:00 (local time), supporters will be brought to the stadium under police escort. Gates will open at 18:45 and close at 23:00, while kick-off is scheduled for 20:45 (local time).

Ireland supporters will be situated in Sectors 7 & 8 in Southern Stand and they will enter the stadium through the south-west side of the stadium at Entrance 25. There will be security checks at the stadium so supporters are advised to arrive early.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow all of the action live on the official FAI Social Media channels by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube now! 

Tactical Lineups

Serbia

1 Rajković (G) 2 Rukavina 4 Gudelj 5 Nastasić 6 Ivanović (C) 9 A. Mitrović 10 Tadić 14 Mladenović 16 Milivojević 17 Kostić 21 Vuković

Substitutes

  • 23 Aleksandar Jovanović (G)
  • 12 Marko Dmitrović (G)
  • 3 Duško Tošić
  • 7 Zoran Tošić
  • 8 Lazar Marković
  • 11 Nemanja Maksimović
  • 13 Stefan Mitrović
  • 15 Slobodan Rajković
  • 18 Aleksandar Katai
  • 19 Aleksandar Ignjovski
  • 20 Andrija Pavlović
  • 22 Nikola Stoiljković

Republic of Ireland

23 Randolph (G) 2 Coleman (C) 4 O'Shea 5 Keogh 6 Whelan 9 Long 10 Brady 11 McClean 13 Hendrick 17 Ward 19 Walters

Officials

  • Referee Viktor Kassai
  • Assistant Referee Vencel Tóth
  • Assistant Referee György Ring
  • 4th Referee Tamás Bognar
  • Uefa Delegate Ainar Leppänen
  • Referee Observer Alfredo Trentalange
  • Xavier Jezequel
  • Paul Eriksen

Minute by Minute Commentary

  • The match is under way.
  • 2" Luka Milivojević (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on James McClean (Republic of Ireland).
  • 3" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 3" Predrag Rajković (Serbia) blocks a shot.
  • 3" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 6" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 6" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Luka Milivojević (Serbia).
  • 6" Luka Milivojević (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 8" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) is flagged for offside.
  • 8" Filip Kostić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 10" Branislav Ivanović (Serbia) fouls.
  • 10" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 13" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 13" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) blocks a shot.
  • 14" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland).
  • 14" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Matija Nastasić (Serbia).
  • 15" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 15" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) fouls.
  • 16" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 16" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Jagoš Vuković (Serbia).
  • 16" Jagoš Vuković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 17" Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland).
  • 17" Richard Keogh (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 17" Filip Kostić (Serbia) has an effort on goal.
  • 17" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 18" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 18" Jagoš Vuković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 20" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Branislav Ivanović (Serbia).
  • 20" Branislav Ivanović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 21" Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Antonio Rukavina (Serbia).
  • 21" Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 22" Filip Kostić (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 22" Richard Keogh (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 23" Filip Kostić (Serbia) has an attempt on goal.
  • 23" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 24" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 26" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 27" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) is shown a yellow card.
  • 27" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 28" Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) delivers the corner.
  • 31" Filip Kostić (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 31" @@player1 (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 32" Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 32" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 32" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 32" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 34" Branislav Ivanović (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Shane Long (Republic of Ireland).
  • 35" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 35" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 35" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 36" Predrag Rajković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 36" Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland).
  • 37" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 37" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 37" Predrag Rajković (Serbia) blocks a shot.
  • 38" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 39" Predrag Rajković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 40" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • The referee blows for half-time.
  • The second half begins.
  • 47" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Dušan Tadić (Serbia).
  • 47" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 50" Luka Milivojević (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • 50" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 53" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 53" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 57" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 58" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Filip Kostić (Serbia).
  • 59" Andrija Pavlović (in) - Aleksandar Mitrović (out) (Serbia)
  • 60" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) is booked.
  • 60" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 60" Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 62" Filip Kostić (Serbia) scores!
  • 64" Branislav Ivanović (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Shane Long (Republic of Ireland).
  • 66" Filip Mladenović (Serbia) fouls.
  • 66" Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Dušan Tadić (Serbia).
  • 66" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 67" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) has an attempt on goal.
  • 67" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 69" Filip Kostić (Serbia) was fouled in the penalty area by Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland)
  • 69" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) scores from the penalty spot.
  • 70" Stephen Quinn (in) - Stephen Ward (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 72" Filip Mladenović (Serbia) has an effort on goal.
  • 72" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 72" Andrija Pavlović (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 72" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 72" Matija Nastasić (Serbia) fouls.
  • 73" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) is flagged for offside.
  • 74" Predrag Rajković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 75" Daryl Murphy (in) - Jeff Hendrick (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 76" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 76" Duško Tošić (in) - Filip Mladenović (out) (Serbia)
  • 78" James McClean (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 78" @@player1 (Serbia) blocks a shot.
  • 78" James McClean (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 80" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 80" Predrag Rajković (Serbia) blocks a shot.
  • 80" James McClean (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 80" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 81" Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 82" Aleksandar Katai (in) - Filip Kostić (out) (Serbia)
  • 82" Duško Tošić (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Shane Long (Republic of Ireland).
  • 82" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 83" Aleksandar Katai (Serbia) is shown a yellow card.
  • 83" Aleksandar Katai (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • 85" Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 85" Duško Tošić (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 85" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 85" Branislav Ivanović (Serbia) has an effort on goal.
  • 85" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 85" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) delivers the corner.
  • 87" Andrija Pavlović (Serbia) has an attempt on goal.
  • 87" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 88" Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 88" Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) is booked.
  • 88" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 90" Aleksandar Katai (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • 90+1" Ciaran Clark (in) - Shane Long (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 90+2" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 90+2" Duško Tošić (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • 90+3" Darren Randolph (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • The final whistle is blown.

Match Statistics

  • Serbia
  • Republic of Ireland

Corners Won

6 4

Shots on Target

8 5

Shots off Target

5 1

Fouls Committed

15 14
  • Serbia

    Republic of Ireland

  • 2Goals2
  • 2Yellow Card(s)4
  • 0Red Card(s)0
  • 8Shots on Goal5
  • 5Shots Wide1
  • 4Shot(s) Blocked2
  • 5Save(s)10
  • 17Total Shots8
  • 15Fouls Committed14
  • 6Corner(s)4
  • 0Offside(s)3