Nations Leage round-up: Mitrovic fires Serbia to top spot in C4


Serbia gained promoted and remained unbeaten in their C4 group. They also boasted Nations League top scorer Aleksandar Mitrović as he netted six goals in as many matches.

Lithuania were relegated down to the D League having the joint worst amount of conceded goals with 16. The same number as footballing minnows San Marino.

Lithuania and Serbia opened the group in Vilnius. The hosts were edged out by their opponents losing 1-0 and missing a plethora of chances.

Ajax attacker Dušan Tadić scored from the penalty spot as Linas Klimavičius fouled Mitrović in the box. Though Ernestas Šetkus would keep the score at 1-0 saving Tadić’s second penalty of the night.

It could have been many more for the Serbs had the woodwork not denied them four times.

Romania and Montenegro next played out a 0-0 draw at the Stadionul Ilie Oană in Ploiesti as the home side failed to make their domination count.

The stalemate came at a cost as Romania lost their captain Vlad Chiricheș. The defender went off with a knee brace on.

After the disappointing draw Montenegro got a win when they hosted Lithuania. Two first-half goals confirmed the victory seeing them win 2-0.

Stefan Savić gave his side the lead from the spot despite Šetkus guessing the right way. Just a minute later Marko Janković was unmarked in the box to turn in Žarko Tomašević’s cross.

Romania managed to draw 2-2 with Serbia in a chaotic game in Belgrade after coming from behind twice to share the points.

Fulham striker Mitrović opened the scoring in the 26th minute as he reacted first in a goalmouth scramble to tap his side into the lead. Aleksandar Kolarov fouled Alexandru Chipciu in the box allowing Nicolae Stanciu to score from the spot.

Mitrović grabbed his second in the 63rd minute as he hooked it past a helpless Ciprian Tătăruşanu in the Romania goal. George Țucudean scored from a corner five minutes later to ensure his side would share the spoils.

Two late goals in the next clash saw a dramatic end to Lithuania vs Romania as the away side snatched the win four minutes into extra time with the score ending 2-1.

Chipciu gave his side the lead as the attacker half-volleyed the ball past Šetkus in the Lithuania net. The hosts may have rightly expected to garner a point from the game having scored in the 90th minute. Artūras Žulpa fired in a scorcher from inside the box drilling it into the bottom corner.

The equaliser was quickly forgotten about as substitute Alexandru Maxim’s amazing dribbling in the box found him space to win the game.

Romania acquired 12 points but it was not enough to unseat Serbia.

Serbia followed their previous draw up with a 2-0 away win in Podgorica as they beat Montenegro in a tame match.

The visitors had the pick of the chances, but it was left to Mitrović yet again as the Fulham man grabbed another double to earn his country all three points.

His first came in the 18th minute as he stepped up to take a penalty following Filip Stojković’s foul on Milan Rodić. The second of his two was a simple tap in following Sergej Milinković-Savić’s failed effort on goal.

Both Romania and Serbia ended up with a point in Bucharest following a 0-0 draw. Despite the hosts having to play with ten men for the entire second half they held on.

Gabriel Tamaș received a straight red and conceded a penalty which Tadić proceeded to smash high and wide.

Montenegro thrashed Lithuania 4-1 in Vilnius to keep the pressure on first-placed Serbia. Lithuania were virtually relegated following the defeat.

A Dominant Montenegro were three up in the first half as two Mugoša goals sandwiched a Boris Kopitović header. Darko Zorić pounced onto a ball in the box to finalise their win in the 86th minute.

Rolandas Baravykas scored an acrobatic effort for Lithuania with two minutes to spare, it was too little too late.

Continuing their unbeaten run, Serbia beat Montenegro 2-1 in Belgrade with two goals in the first half. The Serbians had to withstand late pressure from the visitors but all but secured their promotion.

Adem Ljajić sprung his side into the lead with half an hour gone before Mitrović doubled the advantage with a flicked effort that flew past Petković.

The attacker then failed to make it three in the 38th minute as his poor penalty was skied over the bar. Mugoša got final goal of the game which would turn out to be just a consolation prize for Montenegro.

Lithuania were trashed by Romania 3-0 in Ploiesti. The hosts had the game all but wrapped up by the 65th minute and could nurse home the result.

George Pușcaș put his side 1-0 up in the seventh minute as he slotted the ball comfortably past Šetkus. Keșerü grabbed the second as the ball fell to him in the box following a save and the forward tapped it in to double the Romanian lead.

The final goal of the game came through Stanciu in the 65th minute as he scored directly from a free-kick. To make matters worse for Lithuania Arvydas Novikovas was sent off late in the game.

Romania finished their campaign with a 1-0 over Montenegro though failed to win the group following Serbia’s win over Lithuania.

Their bittersweet unbeaten year came to an end following this win after Țucudean’s shot slipped through the fingers of Petković.

Serbia finalised their status as group winners after beating a tame Lithuania 4-1 in Belgrade. After a disappointing first half the game saw five goals after the break.

A Žulpa own goal opened the scoring while former Newcastle man Mitrović headed his side further in front with his 12th goal in as many matches.

Deimantas Petravičius gave the away side hope in the 64th minute when his acrobatic effort made it 2-1 but the pressure would never go any further.

An Aleksandar Prijović header continued Serbia’s dominance as they went 3-1 up while winger Ljajić’s classy chip ended a quality night for Mladen Krstajić’s side.


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