World Cup Qualifying - European - Group D
Serbia2R. of Ireland2

World Cup qualifiers: Serbia 2-2 Republic of Ireland

Jeff Hendrick struck the Republic ahead in the third minute in Belgrade
Jeff Hendrick's early deflected effort put the Republic ahead in Belgrade

Daryl Murphy's first international goal earned the Republic of Ireland a lucky draw in their opening World Cup qualifier in a rain-lashed Belgrade.

Jeff Hendrick's deflected effort gave the Republic the perfect start as they held out until half-time despite almost constant Serbian pressure.

Filip Kostic levelled on 62 minutes and Dusan Tadic scored a controversial penalty seven minutes later.

The Irish looked beaten but Murphy headed the equaliser on 81 minutes.

Murphy's goal ended his long drought for the Republic as the Newcastle striker, 33, finally broke his international duck in his 24th appearance.

Dusan Tadic (right) celebrates after scoring his penalty
The Republic's hopes looked bleak when Dusan Tadic (right) put Serbia ahead from the penalty spot

Republic snatch draw after disjointed display

The Republic failed to build on the ideal start of Hendrick's third-minute goal as his low shot deflected in off Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. It was a first international goal for Burnley's recent record signing from Derby.

For the remainder of the contest, the Republic struggled to retain possession as Kostic and Southampton striker Tadic caused the visitors no end of problems.

Only poor Serbian finishing and a splendid save by West Ham keeper Darren Randolph from Kostic kept the Irish in front by the interval.

Serbia's deserved equaliser came on 62 minutes as Kostic slotted from close range after Tadic had outfoxed John O'Shea in the Republic penalty area.

With the home side continuing to run at the ragged Irish, they were awarded a highly-debatable penalty with Jonathan Walters' contact on a charging Kostic just inside the area looking minimal.

Tadic dispatched the penalty into the roof of the net and the Republic were fortunate not to go 3-1 in arrears three minutes later as substitute Andrija Pavlovic hammered against the crossbar after Randolph spilled a Filip Mladenovic shot.

But the Republic summoned up a response, with Walters having an effort ruled out for offside and James McClean going close before Murphy powered in a headed equaliser as he connected with a Brady corner.

Given the Republic's defensive nervousness all night, it was no surprise that they had further late scares with Seamus Coleman desperately having to clear off the line after Randolph had blocked an Ivanovic effort.

Darren Randolph attempts to punch away a cross in Belgrade
Darren Randolph made a couple of crucial saves in the Belgrade contest

Man of the match - Darren Randolph

The West Ham keeper rode his luck at times but made a couple of vital saves during stages of the contest when the Serbian were threatening to over-run the visitors.

In truth, few of his outfield colleagues were particularly impressive in a display where the Republic were guilty of squandering possession and resorting to long balls on too many occasions.

What's next for the Republic?

After the first round of fixtures, the Republic sit behind leaders Wales and Austria, who won against Moldova and Georgia respectively.

Martin O'Neill's side return to World Cup qualifier action next month, hosting the Georgians on Thursday, 6 October before an away date in Moldova three days later.

The busy autumn qualifying schedule concludes away in Austria on 12 November with Ireland's Group D action resuming against Wales in Dublin on 24 March.

Line-ups

Serbia

  • 1Rajkovic
  • 2Rukavina
  • 6Ivanovic
  • 5NastasicBooked at 72mins
  • 21Vukovic
  • 14MladenovicSubstituted forTosicat 77'minutes
  • 10Tadic
  • 16Milivojevic
  • 4Gudelj
  • 17KosticSubstituted forKataiat 81'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 9MitrovicSubstituted forPavlovicat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Tosic
  • 7Tosic
  • 8Markovic
  • 11Maksimovic
  • 12Dmitrovic
  • 13Mitrovic
  • 15Rajkovic
  • 18Katai
  • 19Ignjovski
  • 20Pavlovic
  • 22Stojiljkovic
  • 23Jovanovic

R. of Ireland

  • 23Randolph
  • 2Coleman
  • 4O'Shea
  • 5Keogh
  • 17WardBooked at 21minsSubstituted forQuinnat 70'minutes
  • 13HendrickBooked at 27minsSubstituted forMurphyat 76'minutes
  • 6WhelanBooked at 88mins
  • 10BradyBooked at 59mins
  • 19Walters
  • 9LongSubstituted forClarkat 90+2'minutes
  • 11McClean

Substitutes

  • 1Westwood
  • 3Clark
  • 7McGeady
  • 8Arter
  • 12McShane
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 15Christie
  • 16Rogers
  • 18Meyler
  • 20Wilson
  • 21Murphy
  • 22Quinn
Referee:
Viktor Kassai
Attendance:
7,896

Match Stats

Home TeamSerbiaAway TeamR. of Ireland
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home16
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Serbia 2, Republic of Ireland 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Serbia 2, Republic of Ireland 2.

Foul by Dusko Tosic (Serbia).

Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Ciaran Clark replaces Shane Long because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) because of an injury.

Foul by Aleksandar Katai (Serbia).

Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Dusan Tadic (Serbia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland).

Corner, Serbia. Conceded by Daryl Murphy.

Attempt saved. Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Dusan Tadic (Serbia) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Dusko Tosic following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Dusko Tosic (Serbia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nemanja Gudelj.

Corner, Serbia. Conceded by Richard Keogh.

Booking

Aleksandar Katai (Serbia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Aleksandar Katai (Serbia).

Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Dusko Tosic (Serbia).

Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Serbia. Aleksandar Katai replaces Filip Kostic.

Goal!

Goal! Serbia 2, Republic of Ireland 2. Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Robbie Brady with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Antonio Rukavina.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Predrag Rajkovic.

Attempt saved. Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daryl Murphy with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Robbie Brady with a cross.

Attempt blocked. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Serbia. Dusko Tosic replaces Filip Mladenovic.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Daryl Murphy replaces Jeff Hendrick.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Matija Nastasic.

Offside, Republic of Ireland. Jeff Hendrick tries a through ball, but Jonathan Walters is caught offside.

Booking

Matija Nastasic (Serbia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Matija Nastasic (Serbia).

Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Andrija Pavlovic (Serbia) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Attempt saved. Filip Mladenovic (Serbia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dusan Tadic.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Stephen Quinn replaces Stephen Ward.

Goal!

Goal! Serbia 2, Republic of Ireland 1. Dusan Tadic (Serbia) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 5th September 2016

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belarus00000000
2Bulgaria00000000
3France00000000
4Luxembourg00000000
5Netherlands00000000
6Sweden00000000

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Andorra00000000
2Faroe Islands00000000
3Hungary00000000
4Latvia00000000
5Portugal00000000
6Switzerland00000000

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany11003033
2Azerbaijan11001013
3Czech Rep10100001
4Northern Ireland10100001
5San Marino100101-10
6Norway100103-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wales11004043
2Austria11002113
3R. of Ireland10102201
4Serbia10102201
5Georgia100112-10
6Moldova100104-40

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark11001013
2Kazakhstan10102201
3Poland10102201
4Montenegro10101101
5Romania10101101
6Armenia100101-10

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Scotland11005143
2England11001013
3Lithuania10102201
4Slovenia10102201
5Slovakia100101-10
6Malta100115-40

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain11008083
2Italy11003123
3Albania00000000
4Macedonia00000000
5Israel100113-20
6Liechtenstein100108-80

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium00000000
2Bos-Herze00000000
3Cyprus00000000
4Estonia00000000
5Gibraltar00000000
6Greece00000000

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia10101101
2Finland10101101
3Iceland10101101
4Kosovo10101101
5Turkey10101101
6Ukraine10101101
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