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BIG relief Ireland snatch point against Serbia after late own goal

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Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic headed the opening goal for Serbia against Ireland. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic headed the opening goal for Serbia against Ireland. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic headed the opening goal for Serbia against Ireland. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Ireland snatched a late point against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium as Gavin Bazunu's heroics in goal kept the visitors at bay.

A first-half header from Sergej Milinkovic­-Savic looked to have Serbia on course for all three points before the goal-scorer's clearance cannoned off Nikola Milenkovic in the box and rebounded into the net in the dying minutes.

Under-pressure Ireland manager Stephen Kenny celebrated the stroke of luck, but he will also be grateful to goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, with the 19-year-old making a string of second-half saves to keep Ireland in the game.

Kenny made four changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Azerbaijan on Saturday, with Andrew Omobamidele coming into the defence, while Alan Browne, Jeff Hendrick and Jamie McGrath all returning in midfield.

Ireland started brightly, with Jeff Hendrick forcing a save before Serbia took the lead after 20 minutes, with Milinkovic­-Savic heading to the net from a corner. The home side responded well to going behind but couldn't find a breakthrough as they went into the dressing room trailing at the half.

Serbia increased the pressure after the break, however, with Gavin Bazunu having to make two brilliant saves to deny the in-form Aleksandar Mitrović.

Callum Robinson was sprung from the bench but Ireland struggled to create clear-cut chances in the second half, with Bazunu called upon on a number of occasions.

The visitors were then made to pay for their missed chances, with the late own goal rescuing Ireland a point.

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