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Serbia shock Ronaldo's Portugal to qualify for the Qatar WC

  • Serbia sneaks past Portugal 2-1 with a late winner to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

  • Aleksander Mitrovic scored a 90th-minute winner to send Serbia through.

  • Renato Sanches's early goal was cancelled out by Dusan Tadic before Mitrovic came up with the winner.

  • Fernando Santos's men now have to go through the playoff stage to make it to Qatar while Croatia has achieved direct qualification.


Fernando Santos made as many as 9 changes that drew against the Republic of Ireland. Several key stars including Cancelo, Dias, Jota and Bernardo Silva had returned to the starting line-up after being rested against Ireland. Mitrovic was left on the bench for Serbia in this must-win encounter.

Portugal XI: Rui Patricio; Cancelo, Fonte, Dias, Mendes; Sanches, Danilo, Moutinho; Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jota.

Serbia XI: Rajkovic; Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, Milinkovic-Savic, Gudelj, Lukic, Kostic; Tadic; Vlahovic.

FIRST HALF: Tadic cancels out Sanches's opener

Needing at least a draw to qualify directly to the World Cup, Portugal didn't have to wait long for the opener. Serbia's Nemanja Gudelj was caught on the ball by Bernardo Silva and laid it off Renato Sanches who made no mistake. Serbia complained that Gudelj was fouled but the goal stood.

Serbia came close to an equalizer in the 11th minute as Dušan Vlahović struck the post after getting to the end of a cross from Milinković-Savić and sent his second shot high. Serbia then levelled the game with Dusan Tadic. His shot was miscontrolled by Rui Patricio and he spilt into his own net.

Serbia continued to exert pressure on the Portuguese defence as Filip Kostić found the side netting. Vlahović thought he scored but he was off-side in the buildup. There were some early yellow cards dished out to Cancelo and Gudelj.

SECOND HALF: Mitrovic scores 90th-minute winner for Serbia

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been brought on for Dugelj after the break as Serbia chased a winner. Renato Sanches had a good opportunity after a Portugal counter-attack but his effort was saved by the keeper.

It was an end-to-end game with both teams creating some good chances. Bruno Fernandes has been introduced as one of a few Portuguese changes in an attempt to get control of things.

Mitrovic missed a golden opportunity in the 82nd minute as he place his header wide receiving the cross from Kostic. Mitrovic got a second chance and this time he made no mistake as he put his header past Rui Patricio.

Ronaldo reduced to tears after the loss against Serbia

Ronaldo was left fuming at full time and he seemed to scream against manager Fernando Santos.

Well, after the match, Santos said: "He was saying to another player that there [in Serbia] he scored a last minute goal that the referee didn't allow. His outburst, it's normal, he was frustrated."

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