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Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal succumb to a shocking 2-1 defeat to Serbia

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal succumb to a shocking 2-1 defeat to Serbia

World Cup qualifiers: Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal succumb to a shocking 2-1 defeat to Serbia.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal endured a shocking 2-1 defeat against Serbia in their last UEFA a World Cup qualifiers last night which was very devastating for the well renowned Ballon d’Or winner .

The loss saw Portugal (17 points) finish second in Group A after the 3 points helped Serbia (20 points) leapfrog them into first place.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a late winner in the 90th minute as Serbia surprised Portugal with a 2-1 win to qualify for next year’s World Cup and leave Cristiano Ronaldo in danger of missing out on the tournament.

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However, it was Portugal who opened the scoring as early as two minutes into the game when Renato Sanches capitalised on Serbia’s sloppy defending to find the back of the net. Dusan Tadic went on to bring Serbia level in the 33rd minute as the first half ended 1-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal succumb to a shocking 2-1 defeat to Serbia

Alexandar Mitrovic scored the winning goal for Serbia. (GettyImages)

Aleksandar Mitrovic eventually broke Portuguese hearts in the dying minutes of the game when he headed in the winner in the 90th minute to secure direct qualification.

Therefore with last night’s result, Portugal will now be forced to play in the playoffs to compete against runners-up from other groups in March in order to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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Cristiano Ronaldo and co. could do little else but watch themselves being dealt a massive blow by Serbia. Despite having scored 6 goals for Portugal in the qualifying games. Cristiano Ronaldo’s team-mate Joao Palhinha reflected those exact sentiments in a post-match interview with Portugal’s RTP television (via ESPN)

He said: “We have to take responsibility because we had a poor game. We just defended in the second half. Credit to Serbia, they played very well but we had the capacity to be on top.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal succumb to a shocking 2-1 defeat to Serbia 1 Sportelo

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will hope to qualify through the play offs. (Photo: GettyImages)

“Everyone in the dressing room is disappointed but we have to look ahead to the playoffs now because we are more than good enough to be in the World Cup.
“You can’t win all the time. Difficulties are part of life and this feeling should give us more strength.”

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On the other, Serbia were deservedly ecstatic with the result.

Speaking to Serbian media, Dusan Tadic said:”We came here to play football and having been the better side, we earned it all. We are reaping the rewards of hard work and the belief that we would be able to defy the odds and beat Portugal. We are overjoyed, for our country and the people first and foremost.”

“We deserved to win tonight as the lads showed so much character. This is a massive accomplishment for Serbian football,” he added.

“The team showed maturity and composure under the most intense pressure and I would have said the same thing if it had stayed 1-1 and we got confined to the playoffs.”

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