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Watch: Serbia stun Portugal with late winner

Watch: Serbia break Portuguese hearts to qualify for 2022 World Cup with late winner

November 14, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates have a huge mountain to climb now in their pursuit for a place at the World Cup.

Portugal were dealt a massive blow in their pursuit of a place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after suffering a shock defeat to Serbia in their final group game of the qualifying campaign. The Seleccao were handed a bad hand inside he Estadio da Luz as they came from a goal ahead to pick up a disappointing 2-1 defeat to the night's visitors, thanks to Aleksandar Mitrovic's later goal.

After being held to a 0-0 draw against Ireland in their penultimate Group A clash of the World Cup qualifiers, Portugal needed just a draw to book their place at Qatar. Their goalless affair at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin placed the former Nations League title holders above Serbia albeit both sides having 17 points apiece from seven outings. The former's superior goal advantage placed them at the top of the table although that will eventually prove insignificant in the end.

Things began on a promising note for Fernando Santos' men who assumed pole position in the contest after drawing first blood. Just two minutes after the game commenced Renato Sanches was set up by Bernardo Silva for the first goal of the night. However, the lead only lasted for 31 minutes with Dusan Tadic scoring the equaliser. While many would have loved to see Cristiano Ronaldo waving his magic wand and pulling a surprise out of a hat, the Manchester United attacker had a relatively quite day and, ultimately, saw his side suffer a calamitous end. 

With all indications pointing at an automatic qualification for the five-time Ballon d'Or holder and the rest of his compatriots, substitute Mitrovic emerged out of the blue to crash their dream and send them into the play-offs by getting on the end of a Tadic cross to head home a dramatic winner. The goal, which was well celebrated by the meagre Serbian representation at the stadium as well as the team's bench, handed the Eagles their first-ever win over Portugal. Watch the goal below:

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