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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Sport: Serbia wins U-20 World Cup

Serbia won its first ever FIFA U-20 World Cup title on Saturday morning, with Nemanja Maksimovic grabbing a dramatic extra time winner to seal a 2-1 victory over Brazil.
He had earlier set up Stanisa Mandic to open the scoring before substitute Andreas Pereira sent the game to extra time with a leveller for the Brazilians, who dominated possession but were undone by swift Serbian counter-attacks, reports.
After a cagey start by both teams, Brazil had the opening opportunity. Milos Veljkovic headed a dangerous-looking Brazilian free-kick as far as Jean Carlos on the edge of the Serbian penalty area. The Seleção No20 volleyed a vicious effort at goal with his right foot, but Predrag Rajkovic got down to push the ball away.
Serbia had the best opportunity of the opening half. Just before the interval, Serbia’s star man Andrija Zivkovic whipped a corner to the back post from the Serbian right, which was headed back across goal by Babic. Sergej Milinkovic had a free header on goal, but Jean saved smartly.
The Brazilians were quickest out of the blocks after the break. Jorge worked the ball well down the Selecao left, into the Serbian penalty area, before firing in a low cross. Rajkovic parried, Antonov poked away and skipper Danilo hit a wild effort over the bar from the edge of the box.
The Serbians then fired a warning shot across Brazil’s area, with some threatening play down their right flank. Milan Gajic and Zivkovic linked up well, with the full-back breaking into the Brazilian box from the wing. The Serbian No2 hit a vicious shot at goal, which the Selecao goalkeeper saved well.
That warning was not heeded by Brazil as the Eastern European side once again worked an opening down their right-hand side. This time, it resulted in the final’s opening goal.
Maksimovic burst into the Brazilian penalty area down that right-hand side and chipped a delicate cross to the back post. Stanisa Mandic drifted in from the left-hand side, taking advantage of some slack defending by Joao Carlos to sweep home from inside the six yard box.
The lead didn’t last long. Less than three minutes later, Andreas Pereira produced a moment of individual magic to level the scores. Having come on as a substitute less than 10 minutes earlier, Brazil’s No18 worked his way into the Serbian penalty area and cut inside onto his right foot before placing the ball with wonderful precision past Rajkovic in the Serbian goal.
Pereira had a late chance to seal victory in the 90 minutes, but Rajkovic parried his free-kick away, meaning the fourth U-20 World Cup final in a row would require extra time to find a victor.

Photo credit: Getty Image

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