World Cup Qualifying - European - Group A
R. of IrelandRepublic of Ireland1SerbiaSerbia1

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Serbia: Late own goal gives under-pressure Stephen Kenny his best result as manager

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Serbia score own goal
Serbia's late own goal cost them the chance to go level with Portugal on points at the top of Group A

A late own goal gave the Republic of Ireland their best result under Stephen Kenny as they drew with Serbia in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's clever 20th-minute header from a Dusan Tadic corner put the Serbs ahead.

The Republic were then indebted to teenager Gavin Bazunu, who made 10 saves to keep the visitors at bay.

They snatched a point when Milinkovic-Savic's 86th-minute clearance went in off Nikola Milenkovic.

The hosts then pressed for a late winner - in front of a raucous crowd - but Serbia almost got it when Nemanja Gudelj's long-range free-kick hit the bar.

The Republic's run of competitive games without a victory under Kenny extended to 12 - but this felt like a success with the late drama and spirited comeback.

Serbia now trail Portugal by two points at the top of Group A in the battle for a World Cup spot, while Kenny's side are second bottom with just two points.

It is more than two years and 16 matches since the Republic won a competitive game, following a June 2019 victory over Gibraltar.

Youngsters impress in another late show

Football in the Republic of Ireland is torn at the moment.

There are those who think Kenny needs time as he tries to blood youngsters and get the team playing a passing game.

Bazunu, the Manchester City keeper on loan at Portsmouth, and Norwich centre-back Andrew Omobamidele - who were both excellent - are 19, and Adam Idah, who worked hard but was isolated up front, is 20.

But the other argument is they have only beaten Andorra - in a friendly - in 16 games over 18 months.

For all the under-pressure Kenny may try to change the Republic's style, one thing will never change - their love of late goals from crosses.

Each of their last five home goals in competitive matches have come in the 85th minute or later - including Shane Duffy's leveller last time out against Azerbaijan.

They were fortunate Milinkovic-Savic kicked the ball against his own team-mate for the equaliser, but the goal had been coming as the Republic - backed by their vociferous fans - put Serbia under a lot of late pressure.

That was a big positive as was their outstanding defence and goalkeeper.

Yet they only had two shots on target all game, a Jeff Hendrick free-kick and a long-range drive from Omobamidele, and could have been thrashed if not for Bazunu's heroics.

Will this result change minds in the pro and anti-Kenny camps? Probably not.

Line-ups

R. of Ireland

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1Bazunu
  • 22Omobamidele
  • 4Duffy
  • 5Egan
  • 2Doherty
  • 18McGrathSubstituted forHorganat 66'minutes
  • 6CullenSubstituted forMolumbyat 66'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 13HendrickSubstituted forHourihaneat 78'minutes
  • 11McClean
  • 7BrowneBooked at 49minsSubstituted forRobinsonat 58'minutes
  • 9IdahBooked at 31minsSubstituted forCollinsat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Manning
  • 8Hourihane
  • 10Parrott
  • 12Robinson
  • 14Christie
  • 15Horgan
  • 16Kelleher
  • 17Molumby
  • 19Collins
  • 20Arter
  • 21Scales
  • 23Talbot

Serbia

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 12Rajkovic
  • 4Milenkovic
  • 15Veljkovic
  • 2Pavlovic
  • 21DjuricicBooked at 25minsSubstituted forRadonjicat 71'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 20Milinkovic-Savic
  • 8Gudelj
  • 17KosticSubstituted forLazovicat 87'minutes
  • 10TadicSubstituted forMaksimovicat 83'minutes
  • 18VlahovicSubstituted forJovicat 70'minutes
  • 9Mitrovic

Substitutes

  • 1Dmitrovic
  • 3Mladenovic
  • 5Ilic
  • 6Maksimovic
  • 7Radonjic
  • 11Jovic
  • 13Mitrovic
  • 14Racic
  • 16Lukic
  • 19Ristic
  • 22Lazovic
  • 23Svilar
Referee:
José María Sánchez Martínez
Attendance:
25,415

Match Stats

Home TeamR. of IrelandAway TeamSerbia
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home7
Away18
Shots on Target
Home2
Away10
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Serbia 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Predrag Rajkovic (Serbia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John Egan (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Predrag Rajkovic.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andrew Omobamidele (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jayson Molumby.

  9. Post update

    Strahinja Pavlovic (Serbia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by John Egan (Republic of Ireland).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Darko Lazovic.

  12. Booking

    Jayson Molumby (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Nemanja Gudelj (Serbia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jayson Molumby (Republic of Ireland).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Serbia. Darko Lazovic replaces Filip Kostic.

  16. Goal!

    Own Goal by Nikola Milenkovic, Serbia. Republic of Ireland 1, Serbia 1.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Egan (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Callum Robinson with a cross.

  18. Booking

    Nemanja Radonjic (Serbia) is shown the yellow card.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Serbia. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic tries a through ball, but Nemanja Radonjic is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Filip Kostic (Serbia) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nemanja Radonjic.

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal5410114713
2Serbia5320127511
3Luxembourg420258-36
4R. of Ireland502358-32
5Azerbaijan501439-61

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain5311115610
2Sweden33006159
3Kosovo411237-44
4Greece30303303
5Georgia501429-71

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy532071611
2Switzerland32104137
3Bulgaria512236-35
4Northern Ireland31114314
5Lithuania400418-70

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France633083512
2Ukraine50506605
3Finland412145-15
4Bos-Herze403156-13
5Kazakhstan503258-33

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium54102041613
2Czech Rep52128717
3Wales32015506
4Belarus4103614-83
5Estonia3003615-90

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark66002202218
2Scotland632195411
3Israel63121411310
4Austria6213913-47
5Faroe Islands6114414-104
6Moldova6015318-151

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands64112261613
2Norway6411125713
3Turkey63211613311
4Montenegro622289-18
5Latvia6123710-35
6Gibraltar6006325-220

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia641181713
2Football Union of Russia6411104613
3Slovakia62317529
4Slovenia621347-37
5Malta6114611-54
6Cyprus611418-74

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England55001711615
2Poland53111871110
3Albania530256-19
4Hungary521210917
5Andorra5104312-93
6San Marino5005119-180

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany54011321112
2Armenia531168-210
3Romania53029639
4North Macedonia522111658
5Iceland5113610-44
6Liechtenstein5005114-130
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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