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Republic of Ireland v Serbia Live Commentary, 8/9/21

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N. Milenković (86 og)
S. Milinković-Savić (20)
Aviva Stadium


That is all for tonight guys, thanks for joining us. Goodbye!
Kenny's side travel to Azerbaijan in their next qualifier in October, while Serbia will face Luxembourg on the same night. A win for Ireland is vital if they want to start to climb the table, and they will need to hope Serbia do them a favour.
Ireland remain fourth in Group A, and they are still nine points behind Serbia after five games. Kenny's side might not be getting the results, but the players are showing they are playing for their manager. The majority of Serbia's starting XI walks into the Ireland team, and the home fans will no doubt be pleased with the fighting spirit they witnessed.
Ireland leave it late, but they get a result, perhaps the best since Kenny took charge. After a tame first-half display, Ireland found themselves behind after Milinkovic-Savic headed home Tadic's corner in the 20th minute. Bazunu kept Serbia at bay with some crucial saves throughout the night, and the visitors were eventually punished for not putting the game to bed. Robinson's cross was set to be cleared easily, but Milinkovic-Savic's volley hit Milenkovic in the chest and sailed into the back of the net with four minutes remaining. Neither side had enough time to find a winner, and the points are shared.
90' + 3' The danger is over as Duffy fouls Rajkovic.
90' + 3' Make that two corners...
90' + 2' OMOBAMIDELE!!!! The Ireland defender strolls forward and decides to be the hero as he smashes his shot towards the top corner. The defender's effort looked to be finding the back of the net, but Rajkovic gets across his goal to concede a corner.
90' + 1' DUFFY!!! The Ireland defender rises above everyone else in the box before heading towards goal, only to see his strike sail over the crossbar.
90' Three minutes of stoppage time to come!
90' OFF THE BAR!!!! Everyone inside the Aviva Stadium breathes a sigh of relief as a Serbian free-kick hits the crossbar, just when Bazunu thought the poor delivery was flying behind for a goal-kick.
J. Molumby
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
88' Molumby is penalised and carded for a strong challenge near the touchline.
88' Nobody can question Ireland's desire under Kenny. Each of their last five goals at home in competitive matches have come in the 85th minute or later.
D. Lazović
F. Kostić
87' As Ireland were celebrating their equaliser, Lazovic replaced Kostic.
N. Milenković
Own Goal
86' GOAAAALLLLLLL - IRELAND 1-1 SERBIA - Kenny's men have done it, and they needed a huge stroke of luck to draw them level. After winning a throw-in, Robinson decided to cross the ball into the near post. Milinkovic-Savic waited for the delivery to bounce before trying to clear, but somehow, Milenkovic got in his way, and his clearance smacked him in the chest before sailing past Rajkovic. A truly bizarre own goal, but Ireland will not care one bit.
N. Radonjić
Yellow Card
85' Radonjic is shown a yellow card for time wasting.
84' BAZUNU!!! He does it again! Serbia race forward on the break, and they have several players queuing up to score, only for Bazunu to rush off his line and block Kostic's cross.
N. Maksimović
D. Tadić
83' Tadic's night is over as he is replaced by Maksimovic.
83' Ireland are just starting to win more of the second balls in midfield, but they are in real danger of conceding on the counter-attack.
82' DUFFY!!! Serbia work the ball into Mitrovic inside the six-yard box, and the Fulham ace looks destined to score as he turns towards goal. However, Duffy's outstretched leg gets their first, and the Brighton defender even manages to win a free-kick, with Mitrovic failing to get a touch on the ball.
J. Collins
A. Idah
Republic of Ireland
78' Kenny also tries something different up front, with Collins replacing Idah.
C. Hourihane
J. Hendrick
Republic of Ireland
78' More changes for Ireland as Hendrick makes way for Hourihane.
77' CLOSE! McClean saves the day as he races back to stop Radonjic from scoring a simple tap-in. The Serbia ace raced onto a throughball and evaded the on-rushing Bazunu, but he was stopped by a last-ditch tackle from McClean.
74' SAVE!!! Bazunu comes to Ireland's rescue once again as substitute Radonjic is denied from just inside the box. The Serbia midfielder had two bites of the cherry; Bazunu saved the first before Duffy got down to block his second effort.
72' Both managers have now freshened things up across the park, and Ireland will hope the changes stop Serbia's momentum.
N. Radonjić
F. Đuričić
71' Stojkovic also utilises his bench as he makes two subs; the first sees Radonjic replace Duricic.
L. Jović
D. Vlahović
70' Jovic also enters the game in place of Vlahovic, and the fresh legs could prove crucial for Serbia as they search for a second goal.
D. Horgan
J. McGrath
Republic of Ireland
66' Kenny now injects some pace into the game as Horgan enters the field of play, with McGrath making way.
J. Molumby
J. Cullen
Republic of Ireland
66' Kenny turns to his bench for more inspiration, with Cullen replaced by fellow midfielder Molumby.
62' OVER! Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is not too far away from doubling his tally for the night as he tries to curl his shot into the top corner. Luckily for Ireland, the Lazio player got his technique wrong, and he concedes a goal-kick instead.
60' CLOSE! Mitrovic's battle with Bazunu continues as the keeper dives to his right-hand side to flick the striker's volley over the crossbar.
58' SAVE!!! Bazunu comes to Ireland's rescue as he keeps Mitrovic at bay from close range. Serbia worked the ball into the box before Mitrovic tried his luck, only to see his strike saved at the death.
C. Robinson
A. Browne
Republic of Ireland
58' Kenny turns to his bench as Robinson replaces Browne, so Ireland have likely changed their formation.
54' Still early days in the second 45 minutes, but Ireland have not made any inroads so far in this second half.
A. Browne
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
49' Browne is shown a yellow card for a swinging arm when challenging Pavlovic for the ball in midfield.
48' No changes for either side at the break, so Kenny clearly believes he can get a tune out of his current crop. Serbia boss Stojkovic will have seen no reason to change anything, with his team well on top in the first half.
46' We are back underway in Dublin!
Ireland came into this game knowing they were going to be up against it, but the home fans need more if they are to get behind their team. Kenny's troops have barely got them off their seats, and they need everyone inside the stadium to be behind them in the second 45 minutes.
Serbia take a deserved one-nil lead into the break thanks to Milinkovic-Savic's header from a corner. Ireland's only effort on goal came through Hendrick, but the Newcastle midfielder narrowly missed the target. Within two minutes, Kenny's side were behind as Tadic's corner was turned in by Milinkovic-Savic's, whose effort had too much power on it for Bazunu.
45' One minute of stoppage time to come!
41' Kostic tries his luck from range as he tries to catch Bazunu out, but once again, the Ireland keeper is alert to the danger and keeps the scoreline at 0-1.
38' SAVE!!! Mitrovic nearly improves his record in qualifiers as he drills a shot towards the top corner, only to see Bazunu fly across his goal and keep him at bay.
35' Kenny needs to get more out of his team before they fall two-nil behind, with Ireland struggling to get hold of possession in midfield.
32' Mitrovic has scored 17 goals in his last 12 appearances in qualifying matches for the European Championships and World Cup. He has netted a brace in three of his four 2022 World Cup qualifiers so far.
A. Idah
Yellow Card
Republic of Ireland
31' Ireland striker Idah is carded after a sloppy challenge.
29' WIDE! Milenkovic wastes a glorious chance to test Bazunu in goal as he slices Mitrovic's cutback past the near post. The Ireland defence were slow to put the Serbia right-back under pressure, but he still lost his concentration.
27' Hendrick tries his luck with a right-footed curler from the free-kick, but he fails to generate enough power on his strike, and Rajkovic makes a comfortable save.
F. Đuričić
Yellow Card
25' Djuricic is shown the first yellow card of the match after a poorly-timed challenge on the edge of the Serbia box. Free-kick to come...
24' Serbia boss Stojkovic has an injury to worry about here as Mitrovic stays down after a challenge in the box. Duffy clipped the Fulham frontman during a sliding challenge, and he has asked for treatment behind the goal.
22' Ireland face a crucial ten minutes or so now at the Aviva Stadium. Their confidence is already low, but they must dig deep and try to keep the score at 1-0 before they fall further behind.
D. Tadić
20' The majority of Serbia's team dashed towards Ajax midfielder Tadic after that goal, and it is easy to see why. Perfect delivery for his teammate to attack the Ireland goal.
S. Milinković-Savić
20' GOAAAALLLL - IRELAND 0-1 SERBIA - The visitors take the lead from a corner as Tadic's cross is headed home by Milinkovic-Savic at the near post. The midfielder peeled away at the near post, flicked his header towards goal, with Bazunu only able to help it on its way.
17' WIDE!! Hendrick comes within inches of opening the scoring, but his half-volley just skims past the post. The attacking midfielder was given time to bring the ball under control, but he couldn't find a way past Rajkovic from 25 yards out.
15' AGAIN! Less than a minute after his first attempt from outside the box, Gudelj tries his luck once more, but his shot is straight down the throat of Bazunu.
14' SAVE! Gudelj tries his luck after latching onto a clearance from the Ireland box, but his low drive is saved well by Bazunu.
11' Ireland's fans rise to their feet as Kenny's side register their first attempt on goal. Browne picked up possession on the edge of the Serbian box before floating a cross towards Idah. The powerful forward fired his header wide, but the offside flag would have spared his blushes anyway.
9' Ireland win their first free-kick inside Serbian territory, but they fail to create a shooting opportunity, and it remains goalless.
7' Serbia have dominated the early exchanges, with Tadic and Gudelj controlling the midfield at present. Ireland have barely got out of their own half with the ball, but Bazunu has still had very little to do.
4' The visitors have started well, winning a second corner, but the outcome is the same as the first, with Ireland's defence on hand to scoop the ball away.
3' Serbia win an early corner inside the first two minutes, but Ireland goalkeeper Bazunu deals with it as he comes off of his line to punch clear.
1' We are underway in Dublin, Ireland will wear their traditional green and white kit, while Serbia are wearing their white away shirt with blue shorts.
Ireland have never beaten Serbia in six previous attempts, and they suffered a 3-2 defeat earlier this World Cup qualifying campaign.
Kenny makes four changes to the side that drew with Azerbaijan as McGrath, Browne, Hendrick, and Omobamidele come into the starting XI. Seamus Coleman and Aaron Connolly drop out through injury, while Mulumby and Parrott drop to the bench. Serbia's Mitrovic has recovered from a facial injury, and he is fit enough to start in Dublin.
SUBS: Mihailo Ristic, Marko Dmitrovic, Stefan Mitrovic, Nemanja Radonjic, Filip Mladenovic, Mile Svilar, Nemanja Maksimovic, Uros Racic, Ivan Ilic, Sasa Lukic, Luka Jovic.
SERBIA (3-5-2): Predrag Rajkovic; Nikola Milenkovic, Milos Veljkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic; Filip Djuricic, Dusan Tadic, Nemanja Gudelj, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Filip Kostic; Dusan Vlahovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic.
SUBS: Jayson Molumby, Cyrus Christie, Daryl Horgan, Ryan Manning, James Talbot, Troy Parrott, Caoimhin Kelleher, James Collins, Callum Robinson, Conor Hourihane, Liam Scales, Harry Arter.
IRELAND (3-5-1-1): Gavin Bazunu; Andrew Omobamidele, Shane Duffy, John Egan; Matt Doherty, Jamie McGrath, Josh Cullen, Jeff Hendrick, James McClean; Alan Browne, Adam Idah.
Serbia's record in World Cup qualifiers is very impressive of late, with the visitors losing just one of their previous 17 matches.
Kenny's troops have lost three of their four qualifiers so far, but they showed some fight in Saturday's draw against Azerbaijan. Ireland will be well aware that they need to start winning games quickly, but their record at home isn't exactly inspiring, with Kenny's men winless in their last seven competitive home games.
Ireland are without a win in three matches, and they come into tonight's battle on the back of a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan. Serbia's recent form is much better, with Dragan Stojkovic's side only losing one of their previous 11 games.
Hello and welcome to tonight's live coverage of the World Cup qualifier between the Republic of Ireland and Serbia. Stephen Kenny's side are still searching for their first three points during this qualifying campaign, and they will need to be at their best to get past Serbia.