Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 90th-minute goal snatched victory from under Portuguese noses as Serbia procured an automatic World Cup Qualification on Sunday.
Portuguese hearts were shattered in Lisbon as Serbia’s dramatic win lifted them to the top of Group A with 20 points. This puts Portugal in a precarious position as they will have to settle for a playoff berth to fight it out for a ticket to Qatar.
Heading into the game, the hosts made an early break as Bernardo Silva exploited a defensive error from the visitors and fed the ball to Renato Sanches who deposited it into the back of the net at the 2nd minute of the game.
Parity was restored at the 34th-minute mark when a venomous strike from Dusan Tadic was spilled by the experienced Rui Patricio and rolled across the goal line to the glee of the Serb fans.
The clash seemed to have simmered down by the death, but Mitrovic stunned the hosts as the Fulham striker escaped his markers and netted an aerial cross past a helpless Patricio putting the visitors ahead at the penultimate minute of the game.
There were contrasting emotions at the stadium, with the home team gutted as the Serbians wheeled away in wild celebrations as their dreams of making it to Qatar 2022 bore fruit.
The cameras captured an inconsolable-looking Cristiano Ronaldo down on his haunches, knowing that a mighty challenge awaits him in March to strive for what will presumably be his last World Cup.
Check out the reaction to Mitrovic’s heroics below –