Flying it

Serbia storm to 4-1 win over Luxembourg to move nine points clear of Ireland

Serbia are scrapping it out with Portugal to qualify out of Ireland’s group.

SERBIA PROVED TO be too powerful for Luxembourg in the other game in Ireland’s group this evening as in-form striker Aleksandar Mitrović took his tally to seven goals in four games for the Serbs.

By the end, it looked comfortable on the scoreboard – Serbia winning 4-1 to move onto 10 points, nine ahead of Ireland in the standings.

But for a brief period near the third quarter, they were panicky, when Oliver Thill scored a really fine goal for Luxembourg to make it 2-1. In response, Luxembourg panicked, conceding an own goal through Maxime Chanot just three minutes later after Mitrović’s header was saved and then having Gerson Rodriguez sent off on 90 minutes.

Soon after, Nikola Milenkovic headed in Kostic’s cross to make it 4-1.

You don’t need to be a genius to figure out where Serbia’s strengths lay. Three of their four goals stemmed from headers – but their first came on the floor after a superb passing move saw Mitrović steal in behind the Luxembourg defence before guiding the ball home.

That came on 22 minutes. By 35, he was heading in his second of the night, seventh of the campaign and by the time the final whistle blew, thoughts of a winter in Qatar in 2022 were certainly in his mind.

Elsewhere this evening there were wins for Russia away in Cyprus, for Norway – thanks to yet another goal from Haaland – in Latvia and also for Slovenia who laboured to a 1-0 win over Malta.

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