Serbia give caretaker coach fine start with victory in China

Serbia caretaker coach Mladen Krstajic enjoyed a winning start in his first game in charge as goals by Adem Ljajic and Aleksandar Mitrovic gave them a 2-0 win over China in Guangzhou.

Serbia Mladen Krstajic Adem Ljajic Aleksandar Mitrovic China Guangzhou

Serbia players celebrate Adem Ljajic's goal Source: Getty Images

Krstajic, who took over from Slavoljub Muslin who was sacked after Serbia qualified last month for next year's FIFA World Cup, fielded a revamped formation which showed plenty of attacking guile but continued to look vulnerable at the back.

Talented forward Ljajic, one of Krstajic's starters cold-shouldered by Muslin, fired the visitors ahead after 20 minutes with a sharp follow-up after Dusan Tadic had two close-range shots blocked by China defenders.

Switching to a four-man defence from Muslin's preferred 3-4-3 formation, Serbia still struggled at the back and were rescued by three superb saves from reserve goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic before Mitrovic added the second.

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The Newcastle United striker had three efforts clawed out by keeper Yan Juling before he beat him with a firm downward header after an excellent cross by Andrija Zivkovic.

Serbia end their Asia tour with a game against fellow 2018 FIFA World Cup participants Korea Republic in Ulsan next week.


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Published 11 November 2017 at 8:01am
Source: Reuters