Wales earned a hard fought draw in Belgrade after Aaron Ramsey had given Chris Coleman’s team the lead in the 35th minute with a remarkable penalty.
Serbia 1-1 Wales
2018 FIFA World Cup - European Qualifiers
- Stadion Rajko Mitić, Belgrade
- Sunday, 11 June 2017
After Sam Vokes was pulled back whilst attempting to head the ball on goal, a penalty was awarded by Manuel De Sousa of Portugal.
Ramsey stepped up to take the spot kick and with a panenka he sent Vladimir Stojković the wrong way to nestle the chipped ball into the righthand side of the goal.
Wales had been put under pressure until this point after Serbia recovered from a nervy start. Although neither goalkeeper had anything too strenuous to deal with, the home team sensed they could get all three points.
Serbia ramped up the pressure in the second half but Wales continued to frustrate their hosts, who had two penalty appeals turned down by the referee following allegations of handball and foul tackles in the box.
Serbia eventually found their way to the back of net when Aleksander Mitrović shot past Wayne Hennessey after receiving the ball from Aleksander Prijovic’s back-heel.
Wales have never beaten Serbia and neither have they drawn five consecutive fixtures in their history. The draw however, does keep Wales in contention in Group D, sitting third and four points behind Republic of Ireland and Serbia at the top.
Wales really had to dig deep in the second half to grind out the result in a difficult and hostile environment. As a result, their work ethic mist be commended but they will go into the September match against Austria in Cardiff without Joe Allen, who having been booked in this game, will now serve a one match suspension.