Friday, November 24, 2017

South Korea 1 Serbia 1: Koo penalty earns a draw in Ivanovic´s 100th game

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Nov 2017

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Branislav Ivanovic made his 100th appearance for Serbia in a 1-1 friendly draw away to South Korea on Tuesday.

The Zenit St Petersburg player started and was withdrawn in the 68th minute of the match in Ulsan, where a Koo Ja-cheol spot-kick cancelled out Adem Ljajic’s opener for the visitors.

Having missed out on a place at Euro 2016, Serbia responded emphatically by topping Group D of UEFA World Cup qualifying ahead of Republic of Ireland and defeated China 2-0 in their previous friendly outing on Friday.

Korea meanwhile finished second in Group A of third-round AFC qualifying behind Iran to book passage to Russia, Shin Tae-yong having secured qualification after replacing the sacked Uli Stielike in June. 

Shin handed Daegu FC goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo a debut from kick-off, while at the other end, Eibar shot-stopper Marko Dmitrovic also made his first senior appearance as a half-time substitute, replacing the experienced Vladimir Stojkovic.

And there was a second Serbia cap for promising young Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but it was an established member of the squad who broke the deadlock in the 59th minute, Torino’s Ljajic finding the top-right corner of Cho’s net with a shot from the centre of the box. 

The lead lasted just three minutes, though, before Koo equalised for Korea with a penalty.

The match may be best remembered for Ivanovic’s milestone, as the captain prepares to lead the team to the World Cup finals next year.

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