28 Mar Serbia vs. Portugal – Football Match Report – March 27, 2021
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo stormed off the pitch seconds earlier than the ultimate whistle after he was denied a transparent winner in a controversial climax to their World Cup qualifier in opposition to Serbia, who fought again from two objectives down to grab a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
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Ronaldo was left fuming in stoppage time when his effort was cleared by Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic after it had crossed the road, with Dutch referee Danny Makkelie waving play on and with no VAR in place to assessment the choice.
Ronaldo threw his captain’s armband on the ground earlier than leaving the pitch and heading for the tunnel seconds earlier than the fulltime whistle in an exciting Group A qualifier.
A Diogo Jota double had given Portugal a 2-Zero lead within the first half however Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic grew to become his nation’s all-time prime scorer on 39 objectives from 63 worldwide appearances after he pulled one again within the 46th minute.
The Serbians, who ended the match with 10 males, earned a share of the spoils when Filip Kostic levelled and Portugal’s distress was accomplished in stoppage time with Ronaldo additionally booked for dissent when his effort was denied.
“There are moments that are robust to digest particularly once we really feel the complete nation is being punished,” Ronaldo stated on Instagram. “We’ll hold our heads up and transfer on to the following problem.”
Seconds earlier, Serbia defender Nikola Milenkovic was despatched off having acquired a straight purple card for a rash problem on Portugal midfielder Danilo Pereira.
The consequence left either side on 4 factors from two video games, with Serbia topping the group forward of Portugal on objectives scored whereas Luxembourg are third on three factors from one recreation after a shock 1-Zero win at Eire.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos was gracious in accepting the consequence though he stated it was unacceptable to not have VAR at this stage of competitors.
“The referee apologised to me straight after the sport and we now have to maneuver on,” he advised a information convention.
“It was a transparent purpose however there may be nothing we will do now. We managed the primary half however misplaced our focus within the second and didn’t comprise Serbia as they surged ahead.”
Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic, who made 5 adjustments to the aspect that beat Eire on his nationwide team debut on Wednesday, was philosophical in regards to the incident.
“I by no means remark on referee’s choices whether or not they go our means or not. Errors by officers are a part of the sport and ought to be seen as such. I did not see it clearly, I can solely cross a verdict after I’ve seen the replay.
“Ronaldo is a superb participant however we largely contained him tonight and within the second half we confirmed true grit and character to combat again from two objectives down.
“We all the time knew what to anticipate from a prime team like Portugal however in opposition to such opposition it’s important to be courageous and by no means surrender. This group of gamers is shortly studying that.”
Liverpool ahead Jota fired European champions Portugal forward with an 11th-minute header from an excellent Bernardo Silva help and added one other within the 36th as he glanced a Cedric Soares cross from the fitting.
However Serbia roared again at their Rajko Mitic stadium and halftime substitute Nemanja Radonjic, who engineered each their objectives, gave his markers a roasting after the break and in addition drew a advantageous save from Portugal goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
The result additionally made for a bittersweet milestone for Santos, who reached 1,000 video games as head coach at membership and worldwide stage mixed in his 33-year lengthy profession within the dugout.