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Portugal v Serbia Live Commentary, 11/14/21

FT
1 - 2
POR
SRB
Renato Sanches (2)
D. Tadić (33)
A. Mitrović (90)
Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz)

Commentary

Thanks for joining me for Serbia's 2-1 win over Portugal in Group A of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
With that late goal, Stojkovic's men send themselves to the World Cup as they finish unbeaten in the group. They won six out of their eight games, and will now be able to relax a little before they prepare for the competition next year. That won't be the case for the hosts though, who will be forced to go through the play-offs if they want to make it to Qatar. Who they will play remains to be seen, but they will still surely fancy their chances of victory considering they lost only one game in their qualifying group.
What an incredible finish! It'll be Serbia who will finish top of the group and qualify automatically for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a quite stunning late goal breaks Portugal's hearts. They fell behind early on after Sanches pounced on a defensive mistake to rifle home. After that went in though, the visitors responded well and had numerous chances before they finally got level through Tadic as a horrible Patricio error led to the ball trickling over the line. They had large spells of domination in the second half too but it looked as if time was running out. That was the case, until in the dying seconds of the 90 minutes Tadic sent over a perfect cross to the back post where Mitrovic was waiting to head home. This sparked wild celebrations, and they managed to hold on during injury time to seal a dramatic win.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: PORTUGAL 1-2 SERBIA
90' + 4' The visitors have the ball up their opponent's end and they are surely only seconds away now from a famous victory.
90' + 3' Ronaldo tries the spectacular but his effort flies harmlessly over.
André Silva
Danilo Pereira
Portugal
90' + 2' Pereira is replaced by Andre Silva as the hosts search for their own dramatic, late goal.
A. Mitrović
Yellow Card
Serbia
90' + 1' Mitrovic was booked for taking his shirt off during the wild celebrations.
D. Tadić
Assist
Serbia
90' Tadic's cross was perfect to find Mitrovic at the back post to nod home and edge Serbia closer to Qatar.
A. Mitrović
Goal
Serbia
90' They've done it!!! Serbia have found the goal they were desperate for, and it comes from a superb Tadic cross. It goes all the way to the back post, finding Mitrovic. The Fulham striker's header is low into the ground and beats Patricio at his near post, sending the visitors into ecstasy as the score is now 2-1.
L. Jović
F. Kostić
Serbia
89' Jovic comes on for Kostic as Stojkovic is forced to roll the dice.
88' Felix does well to stride forward with the ball and win a corner, relieving some of the pressure.
86' Ronaldo tries to find Felix at the back post but Pavlovic gets in front of the Athletico Madrid man and smashes it away.
Rúben Neves
Renato Sanches
Portugal
84' Goalscorer Sanches makes way for Neves.
João Félix
Diogo Jota
Portugal
83' Jota is replaced by Joao Felix.
83' Aleksandar Mitrovic sends a header just wide.
82' Serbia have had eight corners in this game, compared to their opponent's two.
80' Aleksandar Mitrovic has done very little since coming on at the break.
78' With just over ten minutes left, can the visitors find the goal that will send them to Qatar?
76' The ball ends up with Vlahovic inside the area but his half-volley is blocked and then hits an offside teammate.
74' Ronaldo gets the ball in the area but can't get his chipped effort at goal over Rajkovic.
72' A couple of teasing crosses go into the Serbian box but they do enough to scramble them clear.
N. Milenković
Yellow Card
Serbia
70' Milenkovic is booked for blocking off Jota as the Liverpool man knocked the ball past him.
N. Radonjić
A. Živković
Serbia
69' Zivkovic makes way for Radonjic as the visitors hunt for a crucial winner.
Renato Sanches
Yellow Card
Portugal
67' Sanches sees yellow for cynically bringing down Vlahovic.
S. Pavlović
Yellow Card
Serbia
66' Pavlovic goes into the referee's book.
U. Spajić
M. Veljković
Serbia
65' Veljkovic is replaced by Spajic.
Bruno Fernandes
Bernardo Silva
Portugal
64' Fernandes comes on for Silva.
João Palhinha
João Moutinho
Portugal
64' Moutinho makes way for Palhinha.
64' Milenkovic gets on the end of a Tadic corner but his header is poorly directed and it goes wide.
62' Sanches shoots from outside the box but it's straight at Rajkovic.
João Moutinho
Yellow Card
Portugal
61' Moutinho goes in the book for bringing down Milinkovic-Savic.
60' Jota drives towards the edge of the box but Milinkovic-Savic just manages to hook the ball away from him before he can do any damage.
58' Kostic whips a really dangerous cross in but Vlahovic can't quite get on the end of it.
56' Both sides are currently unbeaten in their last seven World Cup qualifiers. Can one of these teams find a winner?
54' Dias concedes another corner but again it's cleared. The visitors' delivery from set-pieces has been really poor today.
52' Sanches bursts into the box and gets a shot away but the ball trickles towards the goal. However, Milenkovic's clearance bounces off Sanches' head and nearly ends up in the back of the net.
50' The hosts haven't lost against Serbia in the last seven meetings with them.
48' Milinkovic-Savic wins a corner on the left but the hosts nod it clear.
A. Mitrović
N. Gudelj
Serbia
46' Gudelj makes way for Aleksandar Mitrovic at the break.
46' The visitors get us back underway for the second half.
It's important to remember that a draw will not be good enough for Stojkovic's team to win the group, and they will look for a winner to upset the party in Lisbon. For the hosts, it will be about regaining control of this game and make sure that they do enough to at least draw the game and send themselves to Qatar in 2022.
We go to the break with the scoreline level at 1-1. It looked as if it could be a long night for the visitors as they went behind with just two minutes on the clock when Silva dispossessed Gudelj, allowing Sanches to fire home. However the Serbs responded well and had multiple chances to equalise, including Vlahovic hitting the post. They finally did get level though on 33 minutes as Patricio fumbled a Tadic effort into his own goal. Both sides had more chances after that to get in front, but neither could convert and we go to the break with the score one apiece.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: PORTUGAL 1-1 SERBIA
45' Kostic wins a corner as Pereira blocks a cross behind. The visitors claim for a penalty as they think it comes off the PSG man's arm but nothing is given. The corner is then headed clear.
43' Vlahovic has the ball in the back of the net but he is ruled offside. Replays show that he was off by a good four or five yards.
43' Pereira then sends a header just over as Portugal look to be getting back into the game after the Serbs have dominated for large periods of this first half.
42' Rajkovic fumbles a low cross and Moutinho gets an effort at goal, but it's blocked behind.
40' Kostic shoots from a tight angle and it only nestles in the side netting.
38' Pereira concedes a corner but it comes to nothing as no Serbian can get good enough contact on the ball to send it goalwards.
36' Tadic sends a low free-kick straight at Patricio. This time, the keeper manages to keep it out.
35' The visitors are full value for their equaliser as they have responded really well to going behind.
S. Lukić
Assist
Serbia
33' Lukic found Tadic with a short pass before the Ajax man got his shot away at goal.
D. Tadić
Goal
Serbia
33' The Serbs are level! Tadic gets the ball on the edge of the box and shifts onto his left foot before firing at goal. It's really poor from Patricio, as he spills what should be an easy save into the back of the net and the score is now 1-1.
31' Portugal haven't conceded in their last three World Cup qualifiers.
29' Milenkovic shoots from 30 yards out but drags his effort well wide.
27' The delivery is really poor from the free-kick and it's easy for Patricio to come and gather.
26' Mendes clatters into Zivkovic on the sideline, giving the visitors a good opportunity to get a good ball in.
24' Veljkovic is temporarily down after a coming together with Ronaldo, but he's okay to continue.
22' Zivkovic tries to whip in a delivery from the right but gets it wrong and Patricio collects.
20' The Serbs think they should have a penalty for a handball in the area but nothing is given.
18' These sides drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture.
16' Vlahovic tries to get on the end of a lofted through ball but Fonte manages to hack it clear.
14' Ronaldo sends the resulting free-kick just over the bar. Rajkovic probably had it covered but it was a good effort nonetheless.
N. Gudelj
Yellow Card
Serbia
13' Milenkovic is booked for bringing down Jota with a mistimed sliding challenge.
13' Ronaldo fires at goal from distance but Rajkovic pushes it wide.
13' Vlahovic hits the post! He receives the ball in the area before firing at goal, but his effort pings back off the post. The ball rebounds to him but his second effort goes well over.
12' Milinkovic-Savic sends a header over when he perhaps should've gotten it on target.
11' Sanches goes down in the box from a challenge by Veljkovic but the referee sees nothing wrong with it.
9' Milinkovic-Savic sends a bicycle kick into the back of the net but it's ruled out for a foul in the build-up.
João Cancelo
Yellow Card
Portugal
8' Cancelo gets an early booking for bringing down Pavlovic.
6' A couple of crosses from the hosts are cleared as they hunt for a quick second goal.
4' Visiting manager Stojkovic sees yellow for his protests about the goal being allowed to stand after he thought Gudelj was fouled by Silva.
Bernardo Silva
Assist
Portugal
2' Silva dispossessed Gudelj to allow Sanches to chase onto the loose ball.
Renato Sanches
Goal
Portugal
2' What a start for the Portuguese! They lead 1-0 after a couple of minutes as Sanches latches onto loose play by the visiting defence before rifling his effort into the back of the net.
1' The referee blows the whistle and we are under way.
The two teams are making their way onto the pitch.
Visiting boss Dragan Stojkovic opts to make five alterations from the 3-1 win over Azerbaijan as Jovic and Mitrovic drop to the bench while Gudelj and Tadic come in.
Home manager Fernando Santos goes with nine changes as Patricio and Ronaldo are the only players to keep their places from the 0-0 away draw with the Republic of Ireland. Silva and Jota join Ronaldo up front.
SUBS: Marko Grujic, Filip Mladenovic, Stefan Mitrovic, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, Marko Dmitrovic, Nemanja Radonjic, Uros Spajic, Nemanja Maksimovic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Nikola Terzic, Uros Racic, Luka Jovic.
SERBIA (3-5-1-1): Predrag Rajkovic; Milos Veljkovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic; Andrija Zivkovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Sasa Lukic, Nemanja Gudelj, Filip Kostic; Dusan Tadic; Dusan Vlahovic.
SUBS: Nelson Semedo, Diogo Dalot, Andre Silva, Bruno Fernandes, Jose Sa, William Carvalho, Rafael Leao, Goncalo Guedes, Ruben Neves, Joao Palhinha, Diogo Costa, Joao Felix.
PORTUGAL (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Joao Cancelo, Jose Fonte, Ruben Dias, Nuno Mendes; Renato Sanches, Danilo Pereira, Joao Moutinho; Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota.
The visitors meanwhile are also unbeaten and are currently on the same amount of points as their opponents tonight; however, their inferior goal difference means that they will need to win here if they want to top the group and avoid the play-offs.
The home side head into this game top of Group A having not lost any of their first seven games. If they avoid defeat tonight, they will confirm their place as group winners and clinch a ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2022 World Cup qualifier between Portugal and Serbia.