Well would you believe it but Newcastle’s new signing Daryl Murphy scored his first ever goal for Ireland tonight in Belgrade to snatch a draw against Serbia in a terrific game that ended 2-2.
Ireland had gone ahead early in the game after only a few minutes, but Serbia came storming back in the second half and were dominating the game, when Daryl scored with a great header after 80 minutes get a 2-2 draw – that Ireland probably didn’t deserve.
But nobody told Daryl or the rest of the Irish players that.
Daryl Murphy after scoring great equalizer
Another Newcastle striker – Aleksandar Mitrovic started for Serbia – but it was Daryl who came on as a sub after 76 minutes who scored the important equalizer just 4 minutes later in the World Cup qualifying game.
Mitro was replaced after 59 minutes so the two big Newcastle strikers were never on the field together.
Ireland made a great start to the game going ahead after only 3 minutes through Jeff Hendrick and it remained 1-0 at half time.
Jeff Hendrick scores after 3 minutes
But Serbia then came storming back into the game and leveled the scores when Filip Kostic scored after 62 minutes and then Dusan Tadic put them ahead from the spot after 69 minutes, following a controversial penalty award.
The new Newcastle striker Murphy was brought on and he broke away from his marker from a corner with just 10 minutes to go to equalize with a terrific header for his first ever International goal for Ireland.
The goalkeeper got his hand to the ball but couldn’t stop it from going in.
That made it 2-2 and although Serbia pushed for the winner and Ivanovic went very close near the end of the game – his effort was blocked on the goal-line and the game ended up 2-2.
Ciaran Clark of Newcastle came on in stoppage time for Ireland.
A delighted Daryl Murphy told RTE this after the game:
“I had to get off the mark at some stage,” “To score here tonight and get off the mark, I’m just delighted.”
“There were a few bad decisions and the pitch didn’t help — it was hard to get the ball down and play like we’d like to.”
“I don’t think many teams will come here and get the result, so we can be quite happy with it.”
“I had a lot of time on it, there was no one near me, I had time to make a mess of it, but I made sure I got good contact on it.”
“Hopefully there’ll be more to come.”
Well done Daryl – life begins at 33.
It was a good point for Ireland.
Ireland: Darren Randolph; Seamus Coleman, Richard Keogh, John O’Shea, Stephen Ward (Stephen Quinn 71); Glenn Whelan, Jeff Hendrick (Daryl Murphy 76), Robbie Brady; Jonathan Walters, James McClean, Shane Long (Ciaran Clark 90+2)
Serbia: Predrag Rajkovic; Branislav Ivanovic, Matija Nastasic, Jago Vukovic; Antonio Rukavina, Filip Mladenovic (Dusko Tosic 76), Luka Milivojevic, Nemanja Gudelj; Filip Kostic (Aleksandar Katai 81), Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Andrija Pavlovic 59)
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hun)