Serbia were in action today against Cameroon in Group G and United prospect Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was an integral part of the team.
Although Cameroon were pressing well, Serbia were the better side in the opening twenty minutes with three golden opportunities for Fulham’s Mitrovic who headed one over the bar, blasted one wide of the post from six yards out and hit the post.
Serbia’s keeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic who was once on United’s books in the Reds’ youth set-up, was called into action, with a brilliant save to keep it at 0-0.
Against the run of play, it was Cameroon who broke the deadlock from a corner and Serbia found themselves behind again.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had put in a solid performance in the first half, defending well, tracking back to help his team out and controlling the ball well in the final third.
Two quick goals for Serbia in injury time flipped the game on its head. The first came from a very central free kick that found the head of Pavlovic. The second came from Milinkovic-Savic, who found himself in space on the edge of the area. He kept his powerful shot low and though the Cameroon keeper got a glove to it, he couldn’t keep it out.
Serbia kept up the pressure in the second half and within ten minutes they had scored again, a brilliant team goal generated once again by Milinkovic-Savic’s vision but it was Mitrovic who finished for the Serbs.
Unfortunately though, the action wasn’t over yet as Cameroon got one back, then another, in just two minutes. It was 3-3! Would Serbia be cursing not taking those earlier chances?
Milinkovic-Savic left the field of play after 77 minutes but he had put in a solid performance for his country and showed why he is a top priority for Premier League clubs such as United.
With 76 touches, 82% of his ground duels won, 71% pass accuracy and delivering five long balls into the danger zone, Milinkovic-Savic was a vital play-maker for Serbia but just couldn’t quite get them over the line.
It was perhaps the most action packed, and exhilirating game of the World Cup so far with some stand out individual performances as both sides risked it all to try and get the win.
It leaves Cameroon needing to beat Brazil to stand a chance of qualifying and Serbia need to win against Switzerland to try and get out of the group.