Mitrovic equalises late as Serbia earn point vs. Wales

Stoke forward Jonathan Walters volleyed Ireland's equaliser five minutes from time to claim a 1-1 draw and keep Martin O'Neill's team level with Group D leaders Serbia on 12 points.

In the next round, Serbia will play against Moldova at home, the Irish team will travel to Georgia, while Wales and Austria will clash in Cardiff.

The second half would see Serbia continue from where they left off in the first, firing balls into the Wales box, and stretching play from one wing to the other.

'I'm gutted we couldn't hold on to the win. But we can't look at anybody else.

"There's nothing wrong with it at all - he's called a foul on Shane Duffy and I can't see it", said O'Neill.

"He's key to us and he's a world-class player, but one of the main qualities of this group is that we're all about team work and we are all about resilience".

However, ultimately the result is the all-important thing and this draw, while not putting Wales out of contention, does make all of these last four games win or bust.

It was a bitter blow for Wales, who had defended resiliently.

Although Wales' winless run goes on without suspended star man Gareth Bale, they will surely ruefully reflect on the opportunities passed up in four consecutive draws prior to visiting Belgrade - rather than a hard-fought point here - if they fail to close the gap to Serbia. Alexander Mitrovic didn't have the best of games by any means, but he put the ball in the goal when presented a chance, once again proving to be a massive pain in the arse for Wales after doing the same in the first meeting between the two sides.

Aleksandar Mitrovic made the breakthrough with 17 minutes left, finishing calmly to give the hosts a point they more than deserved to reclaim their place at the top of Group D.

"I suffered there, we suffered there - and it was my fault".

"I think that scarred anyone who was involved in that game", admitted the 27-year-old.

Wales pressed late on, finding gaps as Serbia searched for a victor, but long-range efforts was as good as it got in the dying minutes. Last campaign we saw them out, but that's just where we are at the moment. Nemanja Gudelj released a measured pass behind Davies and it was a lovely flick from Aleksandar Prijovic that Mitrovic dispatched inside Wayne Hennessey's near post. We can go there and get a result that is what can happen.

"You've seen it time and again, football is odd, and we might be soon talking about one of the best Wales performances in years". It doesn't always come off but as of late this is the kind of game that we love when you're up against it in a different country.

  • Leroy Wright