Serbia make history with consecutive Euro qualification wins following 2-0 victory over Montenegro
Dragan Stojković’s side became the first Serbia outfit to win consecutive matches to begin a UEFA European Championship qualification (ECQ) campaign since their independence in 2006, following a 2-0 victory over Montenegro at the Podgorica City Stadium.
Following a 1-0 away win over Bulgaria three days ago, Montenegro began assuredly. In the hosts’ first major effort on goal, defender Igor Vujačić headed Sead Hakšabanović’s set-piece inches over the crossbar, and though there was a feeling of disappointment, Montenegro continued to probe purposefully in the final third. Next, it was homegrown Podgorica talent Stevan Jovetić who threatened to break the deadlock, forcing Vanja Milinković-Savić into a smart save.
Seeking to qualify for a maiden participation in a Euro finals since splitting from their hosts nearly 17 years ago, Serbia should have then gone ahead against the run of the play, only for the usually reliable goalscoring boots of Fulham hothead Aleksandar Mitrović to fire the ball wide of the post. Reacting to that let-off, Montenegro commenced the second half as they concluded the first, as Fiorentina front-man Jovetić once again tested the capabilities of Milinković-Savić.
Although the game looked to be drifting towards a dull goalless finish, Dragan Stojković’s introduction of Dušan Vlahović at HT paid dividends in the 78th minute, as the prolific goalscorer survived a prolonged VAR intervention after converting Filip Mladenović’s through-ball pass the previously untested Milan Mijatović.
Vlahović then secured Serbia’s victory in the final minute of added-on time with another empathic finish, adding extra panache to the Eagles’ fourth successive away ECQ victory, including play-off matches. Meanwhile, Montenegro’s qualification struggles on home soil continue, after failing to register a win across their last six games. Miodrag Radulović’s side will once again attempt to right that wrong, when they face Hungary in mid-June.