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QATAR 2022

Drama in Lisbon as Mitrovic winner condemns Portugal to play-offs

Portugal needed a draw or win at home against Serbia in the last qualifying game to secure a ticket to Qatar 2022 and saw their hopes dashed by Aleksandar Mitrovic.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 14: Dusan Tadic of Serbia celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Portugal and Serbia at Estadio Jose Alvalade on November 14, 2021 in Lisbon, Lisboa. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Carlos RodriguesGetty Images

The final game of the Group A campaign saw Portugal heart-broken as Alexsandar Mitrovic scored a late winner for Serbia that secured a direct passage to the Qatar 2022 World Cup for the Balkan nation who finish their campaign unbeaten.

Fernando Santos' men came into the Lisbon clash knowing that a win or draw would be sufficient to secure a place at the 2022 tournament and the home side got off to the perfect start as Renato Sanches found the target to get Portugal fans dreaming after just 2 minutes.

Dusan Tadic pulled a goal back for Serbia on the 33rd minute and as the clock ticked down Mitrovic latched on to a cross to head past Rui Patricio beating the AS Roma keeper at his near post to silence the crowd at the Estadio da Luz.

Portugal now join the likes of Sweden, North Macedonia and Finland in the complicated play-off system that will see three additional UEFA sides progress to Qatar along with the ten qualifying group winners.