Serbia 3 - 2 Republic of Ireland | 2022 - FIFA World Cup | 2030770

FIFA World CupQualifying Round - Group A | Stadion Rajko Mitić, Belgrade
24 March 2021 - 20:45 (local time)

Serbia 3 - 2 Republic of Ireland

Vlahović(40) A. Mitrović(68, 75) Full-time Browne(18) Collins(86)
Serbia Republic of Ireland

REPORT | Serbia 3-2 Ireland - Ireland denied point

Republic of Ireland started their FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-2 defeat in Belgrade as Serbia took the opening three points at the Rajko Mitic Stadium.
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25th Mar 2021

Stephen Kenny’s side had taken the lead through Alan Browne but Aleksandar Mitrović’s brace in the second half was the difference despite a late goal from James Collins.

Ireland did the early pressing in the opening minutes with a series of corners, Ciaran Clark came closest from those opportunities but his effort went wide. Despite a series of corners from the home side that was sent in by Dušan Tadić, Ireland defence marshalled by Seamus Coleman held firm to clear any danger.

Ireland took the lead in the 18th minute when Enda Stevens made a defence-splitting pass to Callum Robinson whose saw his cross met by Alan Browne at the back post. The PNE man did excellently to head the ball past Dmitrović to put Ireland in front.

Despite ample possession, Serbia was not able to make it count as Ireland continued to defend and break forward and they did so when Callum Robinson sent Enda Stevens through down the right-wing, however, the ball was cut out before Aaron Connolly could capitalise.

Serbia persistence did pay off as they equalised courtesy of Dušan Vlahović when he was set up by Tadić. He headed the ball forward into the striker's path whose first-time effort went past Mark Travers to level terms for the home side.

Ireland started the second half in earnest with Aaron Connolly going close early on from an Stevens pull-back. Ireland continued their pressure and Connolly latched onto the end of a through-ball where he appeared to be taken down in the area but the referee didn’t deem it a foul, in the 51st minute.

Ireland continued to press and an opportunity came into the path of Callum Robinson from Alan Browne cross but the danger was cleared. Ireland had a great chance when Matt Doherty sent in an excellent ball into the area, Aaron Connolly left the ball to run but there wasn’t an Irish player to finish off the move.

Dušan Vlahović went very close after an initial shot on the Ireland goal was going wide of the post but the striker was outstretched to tap it in and narrowly missed.

Aleksandar Mitrović gave the home side the lead when a clever pass from Tadic set up the striker and spotting Travers off his line he chipped it over the keeper to score.

Mitrović added a second in the 75th minute when Tadic’s cross into the area was met by the striker with a powerful header.

Ireland got their second goal of the evening when James Collins scored his first competitive goal when Shane Long forced an error from Stefan Mitrović and Collins applied the finish despite under pressure. Ireland continued to rally in the final stages but couldn't find the goal their play deserved.

Ireland faces Luxembourg next as Stephen Kenny’s side look to bounce back in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Serbia: Marko Dmitrović (GK), Strahinja Pavlović, Filip Mladenović (Filip Kostić 46), Nikola Milenković (capt), Dušan Tadić (Nemanja Gudel 76), Stefan Mitrović, Uroš Račić (Nemanja Maksimović 62), Milan Gajić, Saša Lukić, Dušan Vlahović (Luk Jović 81), Filip Djuričić (Aleksandar Mitrović 62).
Subs not used: Predrag Rajković (GK), Đorđe Nikolić (GK), Uroš Spajić , Nemanja Radonjić, Mihailo Ristić, Sergej Milinković­Savić, Marko Petković
Ireland: Mark Travers (GK), Seamus Coleman (capt), Enda Stevens, Ciaran Clark (Robbie Brady 79), Matt Doherty, Alan Browne (James Collins 79), Aaron Connolly (Shane Long 66), Callum Robinson (James McClean 79), Jayson Molumby (Jeff Hendrick 61), Josh Cullen, Dara O'Shea
Subs not used: Gavin Bazunu (GK), Kieran O'Hara (GK), Shane Duffy, Jason Knight, Daryl Horgan, Darragh Lenihan, Cyrus Christie
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA)

Match Preview | Serbia v Ireland

Republic of Ireland face Serbia in the opening match of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
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23rd Mar 2021

Stephen Kenny's side have travelled to Belgrade for the qualifier at the Rajko Mitić Stadium on Wednesday, March 24 with kick-off at 7.45pm, 8.45pm local time.

Where to Watch: RTE2 & Sky Sports Football

Stephen Kenny - The Manager

“This is an absolute honour, to manage your country into the World Cup qualifiers is a privilege. 
“I want to get positive results and put in a really strong performance in Serbia.
"Serbia are an extremely talented team. We’ve seen that in some of their games. Obviously, they beat Russia 5-0 and they played well. It’s our ambition to win the game, like any other game, we’re not setting the team up in defensive mode.
“Look, overall, the team lacks experience in key positions but there is a lot of talent within the group and I’m hoping that we can create a performance to get the result that we need.”

The full pre-match press conference is available here.

Seamus Coleman - The Captain

"I can't explain how much I've missed it. It's been something that's been on my mind. I love playing for my country and I can't even remember when the last one was - it might have been my sending off, which is a very long time.
"Then I came in and I was injured for most of the other selections, unfortunately. I was doing quite well at club level and just picked up a niggle before we met up with something, which has been disappointing.
"To get here, to be with the lads, to be with the staff is an amazing feeling, but then ultimately getting out there and putting on the green shirt is what we always want, and that's what I want tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.
"But I'm delighted to be here and I cannot wait to get started again."

The full pre-match press conference is available here.

MD-1 Training
The Republic of Ireland squad trained at the stadium at 7pm local time this evening and with every player in the squad taking part in the session.
Watch MD-1 Training from Belgrade here.

Match Officials
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA)
Assistant referees: Filippo Meli (ITA). Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Fourth official: Michael Fabbri (ITA)

Team News
Stephen Kenny has a fully fit squad to choose from for the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier against Serbia.

Republic of Ireland squad - Serbia, Luxembourg & Qatar
Goalkeepers: Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Kieran O'Hara (Burton Albion).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (Preston North End, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Conor Coventry (West Ham United).
Wingers: Robbie Brady (Burnley), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).
Strikers: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Shane Long (AFC Bournemouth, on loan from Southampton), James Collins (Luton Town), Troy Parrott (Ipswich Town, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).

Tactical Lineups

Serbia

1 Dmitrović (G) 2 Pavlović 3 Mladenović 4 Milenković 10 Tadić (C) 13 S. Mitrović 14 Račić 15 Gajić 16 Lukić 18 Vlahović 21 Djuričić

Substitutes

  • 12 Predrag Rajković (G)
  • 23 Đorđe Nikolić (G)
  • 5 Uroš Spajić
  • 6 Nemanja Maksimović
  • 7 Nemanja Radonjić
  • 8 Nemanja Gudelj
  • 9 Aleksandar Mitrović
  • 11 Luka Jović
  • 17 Filip Kostić
  • 19 Mihailo Ristić
  • 20 Sergej Milinković-Savić
  • 22 Marko Petković

Republic of Ireland

1 Travers (G) 2 Coleman (C) 3 Stevens 5 Clark 7 Doherty 8 Browne 9 Connolly 12 Robinson 15 Molumby 17 Cullen 20 O'Shea

Officials

  • Referee Davide Massa
  • Assistant Referee Filippo Meli
  • Assistant Referee Stefano Alassio
  • 4th Referee Michael Fabbri
  • Uefa Delegate Metin Kazancioglu
  • Referee Observer Haim Jakov
  • Anthony Jouslin

Minute by Minute Commentary

  • The match is under way.
  • 1" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland).
  • 1" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 2" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 2" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 3" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Filip Mladenović (Serbia).
  • 4" Strahinja Pavlović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 4" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 4" Uroš Račić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 6" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 6" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 6" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 7" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) delivers the corner.
  • 7" Strahinja Pavlović (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 7" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 7" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 8" Uroš Račić (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 8" Josh Cullen (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 10" Uroš Račić (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland).
  • 10" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 13" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Nikola Milenković (Serbia).
  • 13" Nikola Milenković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 18" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 21" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 21" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 22" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) delivers the corner.
  • 23" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 24" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) delivers the corner.
  • 25" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 25" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 26" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 29" Jayson Molumby (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Filip Djuričić (Serbia).
  • 29" Uroš Račić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 31" Uroš Račić (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jayson Molumby (Republic of Ireland).
  • 31" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 32" Nikola Milenković (Serbia) fouls.
  • 32" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 37" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 38" Nikola Milenković (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Callum Robinson (Republic of Ireland).
  • 39" Mark Travers (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 40" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) scores!
  • 43" Filip Djuričić (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 43" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 43" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) delivers the corner.
  • 43" Saša Lukić (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Aaron Connolly (Republic of Ireland).
  • 44" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 44" Jayson Molumby (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 44" Uroš Račić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 44" Filip Djuričić (Serbia) has an effort on goal.
  • 44" Mark Travers (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 45" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the corner.
  • 45" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 45" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Strahinja Pavlović (Serbia).
  • 45+1" Strahinja Pavlović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 45+1" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Dušan Vlahović (Serbia).
  • The referee blows for half-time.
  • The second half begins.
  • 46" Filip Kostić (in) - Filip Mladenović (out) (Serbia)
  • 46" Saša Lukić (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 48" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 49" Filip Kostić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 50" Josh Cullen (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Saša Lukić (Serbia).
  • 50" Stefan Mitrović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 51" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) is flagged for offside.
  • 52" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 52" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 56" Nikola Milenković (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Callum Robinson (Republic of Ireland).
  • 56" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 57" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 57" Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 59" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 59" Filip Kostić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 60" Milan Gajić (Serbia) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 60" Mark Travers (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 61" Jeff Hendrick (in) - Jayson Molumby (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 61" Alan Browne (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Uroš Račić (Serbia).
  • 62" Nikola Milenković (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 62" Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Dušan Tadić (Serbia).
  • 62" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 63" Nikola Milenković (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 63" Aleksandar Mitrović (in) - Filip Djuričić (out) (Serbia)
  • 63" Nemanja Maksimović (in) - Uroš Račić (out) (Serbia)
  • 67" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) handles the ball.
  • 67" Shane Long (in) - Aaron Connolly (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 68" Dušan Tadić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 68" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) misses the target.
  • 68" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) scores!
  • 73" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 73" Marko Dmitrović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 74" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland).
  • 75" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 75" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) scores!
  • 77" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Dušan Tadić (Serbia).
  • 77" Nemanja Gudelj (in) - Dušan Tadić (out) (Serbia)
  • 78" Stefan Mitrović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 78" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) is flagged for offside.
  • 79" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 79" Robbie Brady (in) - Ciaran Clark (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 79" James McClean (in) - Callum Robinson (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 79" James Collins (in) - Alan Browne (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 80" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 80" Stefan Mitrović (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 80" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) has a shot blocked.
  • 80" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 81" Dušan Vlahović (Serbia) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 81" Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 81" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 82" Luka Jović (in) - Dušan Vlahović (out) (Serbia)
  • 84" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 84" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 85" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland).
  • 85" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 86" James Collins (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 89" Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) has a shot blocked.
  • 89" Stefan Mitrović (Serbia) blocks a shot.
  • 89" Strahinja Pavlović (Serbia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland).
  • 89" Strahinja Pavlović (Serbia) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 90" Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 90+2" Dara O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 90+2" Filip Kostić (Serbia) takes the free-kick.
  • 90+3" Aleksandar Mitrović (Serbia) is penalised for a foul on Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland).
  • 90+3" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 90+4" Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • The final whistle is blown.

Match Statistics

  • Serbia
  • Republic of Ireland

Corners Won

9 6

Shots on Target

4 2

Shots off Target

5 3

Fouls Committed

11 18
  • Serbia

    Republic of Ireland

  • 3Goals2
  • 1Yellow Card(s)0
  • 0Red Card(s)0
  • 4Shots on Goal2
  • 5Shots Wide3
  • 6Shot(s) Blocked1
  • 1Save(s)7
  • 15Total Shots6
  • 11Fouls Committed18
  • 9Corner(s)6
  • 4Offside(s)0