Wales 1-1 Serbia: Late Mitrovic header deals blow to Welsh

Wales 1-1 Serbia: Late Mitrovic header deals blow to Welsh

A goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic earned Serbia a 1-1 draw with Wales.

Danial Kennedy

Wales were handed a blow in their pursuit of qualification for the 2018 World Cup, with a late goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic seeing them draw 1-1 with Serbia.

It was even beginnings from both sides, with Branislav Ivanovic coming close before Gareth Bale fired home on the half hour mark. Hal Robson-Kanu and Nemanja Matic came close as the half drew to a close, but failed to change the scoreline.

The second period didn't have the same intensity, with half-chances from Bale, but it was Mitrovic's 86th minute header that saw the spoils shared at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Making a bright start

Chris Coleman's side were looking to return to winning ways after draws with Austria and Georgia during the last international break, however they faced a tough Serbian side who had the first real opportunity of the contest.

Chelsea's Ivanovic rose highest to an 18th minute ball in, with the defender's downward header looking to be nestling in the bottom corner, if not for the excellent defending of James Chester who chested it away from danger.

That man again

Bale came into the game having won Wales' player of the year once again, and he showed just why he earned the award as he gave the Dragons the lead in the 30th minute.

It was a poor showing from Matija Nastasic, as he was pick pocketed by Robson-Kanu. He palmed it off for Bale who had excellent first touch, and he swept it home from 20 yards with the second, sending the Cardiff City Stadium into a frenzy.

​He almost turned provider three minutes later, with the Real Madrid man curling a cross into Robson-Kanu at the back post, but the effort was just wide of the mark.

Matic rounded off the half with a effort of his own, as the Chelsea midfielder hit a sweet shot from 22 yards, but Wayne Hennessey was equal to it as he palmed it away from danger.

Starting off slow

It was a slow start to the second period from both sides, yet the chances were still coming from Coleman's side. Bale stood over a free-kick in the 50th minute, he hit a sweet effort from 30 yards, however Vladimir Stojkovic did well to pull off a smart save.

There was a big penalty appeal in the 71st minute, with the ball been played behind to Joe Allen. It looked to have deflected off the defenders arm, but the appeals were waved away.

​They came even closer with five minutes to play, Ramsey played it through to Bale with his effort cannoning off the post, with Sam Vokes inches away from getting the rebound.

Saving a point

Bale was made to regret his miss, as Serbia managed to secure their point through Mitrovic just a minute after he failed to make it two.

It was an excellent effort from the Newcastle United striker, as he rose highest to the cross, with his strike nestling in the bottom corner having come off the post.

Ramsey looked to have the chance to snatch the points as he was put through by Vokes. Stojkovic produced a smart save eight yards out, but the offside flag was raised.