A case of what might have been for Aleksandar Mitrovic and Serbia
Aleksandar Mitrovic and his Serbian teammates will be reflecting on what might have been.
If they had beaten Switzerland then they would have qualified for the knockout stages with a game to spare.
If they’d drawn against Switzerland they would still have qualified by a point in second place ahead of the Swiss in the final table.
The penalty Mitrovic should have got against Switzerland…
As for tonight?
Serbia matched Brazil in the first half without really threatening the goal. The Brazilians not quite as expansive as usual as they looked to protect what they had, whilst Serbia defended well, only to be unstuck out of the blue when a superb Coutinho pass put Paulinho in for a smart finish which the keeper could have maybe made himself ‘bigger’ for.
After the break, Serbia were dominant and pressed repeatedly for an equaliser, in this period they had two great chances and they both fell to Aleksandar Mitrovic.
They ended up being their only two shots on target in the 90 minutes and if either/both had gone in, who knows?
The first saw a shot blocked by the keeper and whilst it came quick to the Newcastle striker he only had to steer his header past the covering defender but instead he struck him.
Then an excellent cross from the right was perfect for Mitro, he won it in the air but could only steer his eight yard header straight at the keeper.
Thiago Silva then scored a simple header at the other end on 68 minutes and the bubble was burst for Serbia.
Before the match (see below) Aleksandar Mitrovic had said ‘we will do it until the final minute and make every Serbian proud’, well Mitro and his teammates had no shortage of effort but at key moments fell short.
The NUFC forward was subbed just before the end with only a yellow card to show for his efforts on Wednesday night.
Going down 2-0 to the World Cup favourites is no disgrace and now Aleksandar Mitrovic can sort his club future out, as he looks to be playing regular football next season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic talking before the match against Brazil:
“We Serbs are used to having to take the hard way.
“Against us, anything goes, but we are still here.
“They can’t challenge us.
“They can’t knock us down as many times as we can stand up…
“We are known for that and we are still here, our heads are not bowed.
“We are going to give it everything, we are going to die out there on the pitch….to represent our national team in the best possible way.
“We will do it until the final minute and make every Serbian proud.
“Those who believe in miracles are the ones who make them happen.
“We are Serbian…nothing is impossible.”
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