The Republic of Ireland got their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a reasonable start after a hard-fought 2-2 draw in a very wet Belgrade.
However, Martin O’Neill and co. will no doubt still be furious with the officials after Hamburg winger Filip Kostic won a penalty courtesy of an appalling dive, right under the nose of referee Viktor Kassai.
Ireland had taken the lead after just three minutes, courtesy of Jeff Hendricks’ first senior international goal before Kostic himself levelled the scores on 62 minutes.
Soon after that equaliser, the Serbian wideman was in the thick of things again, this time going down after the very lightest of contact from Jonathan Walters…
Southampton’s Dusan Tadic converted the resulting spot-kick to put the hosts 2-1 up. However, on 80 minutes, sub Daryl Murphy bagged his first senior Irish goal to secure a point from Martin O’Neill’s men.
While the performance by the Irish was patchy at best, a point in Belgrade is a decent start to what should be an interesting Group D campaign.