Serbia’s 2-1 victory in Lisbon means Portugal completed second in Group A and must get by way of the playoff in March with a purpose to qualify for Qatar 2022.
Needing solely a draw to qualify for the World Cup, Portugal’s night time acquired off to the right begin when Nemanja Gudelj was caught in possession by Bernardo Silva, who arrange Renato Sanches to offer the house facet the lead inside two minutes.
The aim was allowed to face after a video assistant referee evaluation for a foul on Gudelj.
Nonetheless, Serbia equalized half-hour later when Dusan Tadic’s deflected shot was spilled by Rui Patricio and rolled into Portugal’s web.
Portugal’s finest probability to take the lead within the second half got here by way of a Sanches break, however the midfielder was unable to get a clear shot away.
With the sport on track for a draw, Mitrovic’s back-post header from Tadic’s cross grabbed a historic victory for Serbia and sparked wild celebrations on the pitch.
The aim was additionally loved by 20-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic, who was seen celebrating noisily in movies posted to his Instagram account, and likewise served as a redemptive second for Mitrovic, whose missed penalty in a shootout towards Scotland final yr meant Serbia didn’t qualify for Euro 2020.
The end result meant Serbia completed prime of Group A on 20 factors, whereas Portugal was second on 17 and should now navigate a 12-team playoff with a purpose to qualify for the World Cup.
Of the groups within the playoff, solely three will find yourself qualifying for the event.