World Cup Qualifying - European - Group D
R. of Ireland0Serbia1

World Cup, Group D: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Serbia

Jonathan Walters and Shane Duffy show their disappointment after the Republic's defeat
The Republic's hopes of winning Group D now look remote

The Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualification hopes suffered a huge blow as 10-man Serbia took firm control of Group D by winning in Dublin.

Former Manchester City defender Aleksander Kolarov scored on 55 minutes and the visitors held on despite Nikola Maksimovic's 68th-minute red card.

The Republic were much improved from the 1-1 draw in Georgia but the defeat drops them to third in the group.

Serbia are four points clear of Wales, with the Irish a further point back.

Uphill task for O'Neill's men

Group D

Midfielder David Meyler said after the game that he thought his team were "still in a good position" but the table would suggest otherwise.

While the Serbs will win Group D if they beat Austria in Vienna on 6 October, the Republic's qualification hopes now look likely to rest on clinching a play-off spot by finishing above Wales, who beat Moldova 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Martin O'Neill's team play Moldova in Dublin on 6 October and then face a potentially crucial match against Wales in Cardiff three days later.

But even finishing second would not necessarily guarantee a play-off place - they will be filled by the eight best runners-up in the nine European qualifying groups so one nation finishing second will miss out.

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Skipper Walters says Republic will fight all the way

Improved Republic just cannot find the net

Tuesday's match ended in O'Neill's first qualifying defeat in Dublin but his team certainly had enough chances to score.

The selection of Wes Hoolahan and the performance of man of the match David Meyler led to a massively improved display from Saturday's game in Tbilisi.

Brighton defender Shane Duffy had the ball in Serbia's net in the 10th minute but the header was correctly ruled out for offside, before a Shane Long effort was tipped over by Vladimir Stojkovic.

Substitute Daryl Murphy, who had been dragged down just outside the box in the incident that led to Maksimovic's red card, appeared to have been hauled back by Jagos Vukovic in the 76th minute but Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakis waved away the penalty claims.

Amid intense late Irish pressure, Murphy had a chance to level on 86 minutes, but his right-foot shot from the edge of the area was fired straight at keeper Stojkovic.

And to complete a miserable night, bookings for Robbie Brady and James McClean from challenges born largely of frustration mean they will miss the home qualifier against Moldova on 6 October.

Shane Duffy shows his disappointment after his first-half headed effort was correctly disallowed for offside
Shane Duffy headed the Serbian net in the first half but it was correctly ruled out for offside

Serbia show nous and know-how

Serbia, unbeaten in qualifying going into the match, had vastly experienced players such as Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic - and as they closed out a game they played for nearly half an hour with 10 men that know-how proved invaluable.

They drew fouls at every opportunity and were adept at slowing the game down, with Stojkovic eventually booked for time wasting.

After the Republic's bright start, the Serbs had begun to look dangerous as Darren Randolph denied Newcastle's Aleksander Mitrovic and Antonio Rukavina also shot over after more brilliant Kostic invention.

But their goal eventually came through Kolarov, who smashed in his left-foot winner off the underside of the bar after being played in by the superb Kostic.

O'Neill's run ends - the stats

  • The Republic of Ireland lost their first competitive home game under Martin O'Neill, ending a run of nine games without defeat at the Aviva Stadium.
  • It was their first defeat at the Aviva Stadium in competitive action since September 2013 (v Sweden), under Giovanni Trapattoni.
  • They remain winless against Serbia, with both of their losses coming on home soil (D3 L2).
  • Martin O'Neill's side have scored just two goals at home in 2018 World Cup qualifying; only Faroe Islands (1) and Latvia, San Marino and Liechtenstein (all zero) have scored fewer amongst European nations.
  • Belgium's Thomas Meunier (4) is the only defender to have scored more goals than Aleksandar Kolarov (2) in 2018 European World Cup qualifying.

Line-ups

R. of Ireland

  • 23Randolph
  • 2Christie
  • 20Duffy
  • 3Clark
  • 17WardSubstituted forO'Dowdaat 72'minutes
  • 18MeylerSubstituted forHourihaneat 80'minutes
  • 14HoolahanSubstituted forMurphyat 62'minutes
  • 10BradyBooked at 70mins
  • 19Walters
  • 11McCleanBooked at 74mins
  • 9Long

Substitutes

  • 1Westwood
  • 4O'Shea
  • 5Keogh
  • 6Whelan
  • 7Horgan
  • 8Murphy
  • 12O'Dowda
  • 13Long
  • 15Hourihane
  • 16Elliot
  • 21Hayes
  • 22Arter

Serbia

  • 1StojkovicBooked at 90mins
  • 6Ivanovic
  • 19MaksimovicBooked at 68mins
  • 15Vukovic
  • 2RukavinaBooked at 52mins
  • 16Milivojevic
  • 21Matic
  • 11Kolarov
  • 10TadicSubstituted forGudeljat 82'minutes
  • 17KosticSubstituted forMitrovicat 72'minutes
  • 9MitrovicSubstituted forPrijovicat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Obradovic
  • 4Gudelj
  • 5Nastasic
  • 7Tosic
  • 8Prijovic
  • 12Rajkovic
  • 13Mitrovic
  • 14Gacinovic
  • 18Spajic
  • 20Radoja
  • 22Ljajic
  • 23Jovanovic
Referee:
Cüneyt Çakir
Attendance:
50,153

Match Stats

Home TeamR. of IrelandAway TeamSerbia
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home19
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Republic of Ireland 0, Serbia 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 0, Serbia 1.

Attempt missed. Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Robbie Brady with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Aleksandar Kolarov.

Booking

Vladimir Stojkovic (Serbia) is shown the yellow card.

Stefan Mitrovic (Serbia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Shane Duffy.

Foul by Stefan Mitrovic (Serbia).

Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Jagos Vukovic (Serbia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt missed. Conor Hourihane (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by James McClean.

Foul by Aleksandar Prijovic (Serbia).

Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Shane Long with a headed pass.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jagos Vukovic (Serbia) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Cyrus Christie (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James McClean.

Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland).

Foul by Aleksandar Prijovic (Serbia).

Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Antonio Rukavina (Serbia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Republic of Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Serbia. Nemanja Gudelj replaces Dusan Tadic.

Foul by Jagos Vukovic (Serbia).

Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Serbia. Aleksandar Prijovic replaces Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Conor Hourihane replaces David Meyler.

.

Attempt missed. Cyrus Christie (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Shane Long.

Booking

James McClean (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James McClean (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt missed. David Meyler (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Serbia. Stefan Mitrovic replaces Filip Kostic.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 5th September 2017

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France85211551017
2Sweden85121871116
3Netherlands84131611513
4Bulgaria84041317-412
5Luxembourg8125717-105
6Belarus8125416-125

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland88001831524
2Portugal87012842421
3Hungary8314119210
4Faroe Islands8224415-118
5Andorra8116217-154
6Latvia8107318-153

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany88003523324
2Northern Ireland86111621419
3Azerbaijan8314812-410
4Czech Rep823310919
5Norway8215816-87
6San Marino8008238-360

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia85301771018
2Wales8350125714
3R. of Ireland834196313
4Austria8233101009
5Georgia8053812-45
6Moldova8026420-162

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland86111811719
2Montenegro85121871116
3Denmark85121871116
4Romania82338809
5Armenia8206819-116
6Kazakhstan8026422-182

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England86201631320
2Slovakia8503146815
3Slovenia8422104614
4Scotland84221410414
5Lithuania8125618-125
6Malta8008221-190

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain87103232922
2Italy86111971219
3Albania8413109113
4Israel8305914-59
5Macedonia82151014-47
6Liechtenstein8008134-330

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium87103533222
2Bos-Herze84221981114
3Greece8341115613
4Cyprus8314812-410
5Estonia8224617-118
6Gibraltar8008337-340

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia8512123916
2Iceland8512117416
3Turkey8422128414
4Ukraine8422117414
5Finland8215610-47
6Kosovo8017320-171
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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