Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a last-minute goal to send Ronaldo’s side to the World Cup play-off. It was a night to remember for the Serbians as they booked their place at next year’s World Cup and condemned Portugal to the play-offs.
Mitrovic Scores to Ensure Serbia Beat Portugal
Hosts Portugal only needed a draw to qualify and looked to have done enough, with Renato Sanches’ two minutes opener, but Ajax Dusan Tadic’s equaliser cancelled the goal. Mitrovic came off the bench to make the much-needed difference as he scored a late minute goal to put the whole Serbian players in a celebration mood.
The goal prompted wild celebrations on the bench and the Serbia players and staff pitch while the Portuguese team stood in disbelief with the home crowd silenced. Serbia finished top of Group A with 20 points, three points above Portugal, whose hopes of playing in Qatar next year rest on two rounds of play-offs in March.
The defeat also ended Portugal’s unbroken winning run in a home World Cup qualifier, stretching back to October 2013. Cristiano Ronaldo, himself familiar with scoring late goals with Manchester United this season, could not help his team come back; instead, Mitrovic provided the drama in the closing stages as his header secured a famous win for Serbia.