Alexandar Mitrovic has admitted his embarrassment following his Panenka penalty miss for Serbia against Montenegro.
The match in Belgrade was going perfectly for Mitrovic when he doubled Serbia’s lead just two minutes after Adem Ljajic's 30th-minute opener.
The Fulham forward then had the chance to make it three-nil from the penalty spot before half-time. The 24-year-old had the 'keeper beaten but his chipped Panenka-style penalty went well over the crossbar.
Thankfully for Mitrovic, Serbia managed to hold on to the victory despite Stefan Mugosa’s second half strike for Montenegro.
Speaking after the game, Mitrovic revealed his choice of penalty was inspired by Netherlands forward Memphis Depay, whose impudent spot-kick sealed a 2-0 victory for the Oranje against Germany on Friday.
“I have no idea why I’ve done that, I was watching Depay yesterday and decided at last moment. I am stupid... “ Mitrovic was quoted from mixed zone by Serbian media.
The penalty was inspired by Antonin Panenka, whose chipped penalty secured victory for Czechoslovakia against West Germany at Euro 1976, ironically at the same Red Star stadium where Mitrovic missed.
Montenegro will argue that Mitrovic’s miss was justice given the controversial nature of the penalty decision.
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic stubbed his toe on the floor as he tried to shoot. Matic didn’t appeal the penalty but the referee pointed to the spot anyway, much to the Montenegro players’ disbelief.
The result keeps Serbia on course for promotion up to League B of the Nations League while ending Montenegro’s promotion hopes. Mladen Krstajic’s side are currently two points clear of Romania in Group 4C with one round of games remaining.
Serbia will secure promotion with victory at home to Lithuania on Tuesday. They will also go up regardless of that result if Romania fail to win in Montenegro in their final game on the same evening.
Lithuania have already been relegated and guaranteed to finish bottom having lost all five group games so far.