Cristiano Ronaldo furious as Mitrovic grabs last-gasp winner for Serbia
Portugal were seconds away from qualification
Portugal have failed to book their automatic qualification spot in next
summer's winter's (still feels weird) World Cup after a late, late Aleksandar Mitrovic winner consigned them to the play-offs.
Cristiano Ronaldo and co. needed just a single point to confirm their place in Qatar after being held to a goalless draw by Ireland in Dublin last week. They made the perfect start, too, with Renato Sanches giving them a lead inside the opening two minutes of the game at the Estadio da Luz.
Serbia, needing to win the game to leapfrog Portugal and take Group A's automatic qualification place, refused to wilt, and drew level shortly after half-time through Ajax's former Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic.
Fulham striker Mitrovic was later sent on at half-time to give Serbia more of a physical presence up top. And in the final minute of regulation time, the move paid off.
After a lapse in concentration in the Portuguese defence, Mitrovic found himself in acres of space at the back post as a deep cross was floated towards him. His downward header bounced beyond Rui Patricio and into the net, silencing the Lisbon crowd and sparking wild scenes of celebrations from Serbia's players.
Aleksandar Mitrović scored an injury-time winner as Serbia leapfrogged Portugal to seal their place at the 2022 World Cup! 🇷🇸🔥 pic.twitter.com/EOod5NCYAR
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 14, 2021
The defeat has ended Portugal's unbroken winning run in home World Cup qualifiers, which stretched back to October of 2013.
Ronaldo, who was largely anonymous throughout the game, struggled to hide his disappointment at full-time, with some reports claiming he was even in tears at Portugal's failure to get the job done. At 36, the tournament in Qatar could be his last ever World Cup.
While Serbia have now secured their spot, Portugal must try and do so via a two-game play-off in March.
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