A crucial night for Aleksandar Mitrovic and Serbia, falling behind to Wales on Sunday evening in a vital World Cup qualifier.

Aaron Ramsey giving Wales a first-half lead with a well taken penalty.

Earlier in the day Ireland (Daryl Murphy came on in the second-half at 0-1) managed a draw at home to Austria which had at least temporarily put them top of group D by one point.

Starved of service all night, the 73rd minute saw Mitrovic get his first chance, with BBC pundit John Hartson declaring “It’s a wonderful finish…He hasn’t had a chance all night and that’s what top players do – one chance and one goal.”

However, he also felt that 90 seconds(!) of celebrations was worth at least a booking…

The game ended 1-1 but in the 89th minute Mitrovic could have taken things to another level but according to BBC Sport ‘Aleksandar Mitrovic is steaming on to the cross, eyes wide shut!’ and put the chance…wide.

BBC Sport adding ‘There is a really top-rate target man in there somewhere.’

Something that many Newcastle fans would agree with, Mitrovic having now scored seven goals in his last seven internationals, despite only four goals in the Championship last season.

BBC Sport:

’73 Minutes.

You can’t say that wasn’t coming.

Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who equalised in the meeting in Wales, strikes to do the same again.

Ben Davies gambles to try and cut a pass out, misses it, and Aleksandar Prijovic is in on goal, he has the awareness to slide in Mitrovic on the overlap, he skips past Ashley Williams and buries with his left foot.

MASSIVE celebrations. Flares, the works.’

John Hartson:

“It’s a wonderful finish but I just wonder if the referee will book Aleksandar Mitrovic – it’s about 90 seconds of celebrating.

“No, the referee is not even interested in booking him.

“He hasn’t had a chance all night and that’s what top players do – one chance and one goal.”

BBC Sport:

‘89 minutes.

That is a chance! yet another great ball in, Aleksandar Mitrovic is steaming on to the cross, eyes wide shut!

He gets a great leap in, Wayne Hennessey doesn’t know whether to stick or twist, head it…WIDE!

There is a really top-rate target man in there somewhere.’

Only the top team in each group automatically goes through, with the best eight runners-up in the nine European groups being drawn in play-offs with four winners of those games also qualifying for Russia next year.

Group D table now looks like this:

12 Serbia (GD +6)

12 R. of Ireland (+4)

8 Wales (+4)

8 Austria (+1)

3 Georgia (-4)

2 Moldova (-11)

  • grumpyoldmag

    That would be his only chance apart from the sitter he missed first half then

    • Allan Kidd

      he missed another sitter with his head in the second half…a good centre forward would have buried both chances in my opinion.

      • Geordiegiants

        He missed a hat full of sitters in our relegation season. The most memorable for me was a header against Everton, it was harder to miss.
        A nice lad, with a real passion for football, but just not good enough for the prem by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Coach Clagnut

    The kid was 20 when he signed for us and delivered almost a 1 in 3 strike rate in his first season. Not too bad considering he was coached by a weapon’s grade idiot.
    There is a world class target man in there somewhere and, when he gets there, I hope it’s with the N.U.F.C.

  • Wor Lass

    It`s true enough that Mitro has missed too many chances for us. I like him but I wouldn`t be upset if he was sold as long as we buy someone better. My worry is that, like Thauvin, he will move on, feel that release of pressure, relax and start to bang them in for fun. I`d give him a chance in the PL – he has shown that he can perform at that level and I think we can afford to keep him as a squad member.