Portugal 1 Serbia 1: Ronaldo injured as Group B favourite draws again

Portugal was held to a 1-1 draw by Serbia in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier, with Cristiano Ronaldo suffering an apparent hamstring injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured in Portugal's draw with Serbia.   -  Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured as Portugal was held to a 1-1 draw by Serbia in a frantic Euro 2020 qualifier in Lisbon.

A goalless draw with Ukraine in its opening Group B fixture on Friday put the pressure on Portugal heading into Monday's encounter, and its task was made more difficult when Ronaldo appeared to suffer a hamstring injury before the half-hour mark.

Dusan Tadic's penalty had put Serbia ahead early on, though Portugal overcame Ronaldo's injury to level through Danilo Pereira's rasping 42nd-minute strike.

WATCH | Injured Ronaldo expects to return within two weeks

Portugal was awarded a spot-kick with 17 minutes remaining only for referee Szymon Marciniak to change his mind after consultation with his assistant and Serbia held firm to frustrate its host.

William Carvalho had a goal disallowed against Ukraine and should have put Portugal ahead inside four minutes here, but he failed to apply a finish from point-blank range. Portugal was made to pay for Carvalho's miss three minutes later, Tadic making no mistake from the spot after Rui Patricio barged into Mijat Gacinovic, though Serbia's lead would have been short lived if not for a pair of superb saves from Marko Dmitrovic.

Ronaldo's injury looked to have knocked the wind out of Portugal's sails, but the host drew level when Danilo picked out the top-right corner with an outstanding strike from 30 yards.

Portugal looked to have been handed a lifeline when Marciniak initially deemed Antonio Rukavina handled in the area, but the assistant referee came to Serbia's rescue when he instructed the official to change his decision.

Bernardo Silva and Pepe squandered chances in stoppage time to secure a dramatic win for Portugal .

Portugal drew level against Serbia when Danilo picked out the top-right corner with an outstanding strike from 30 yards.   -  Reuters

 

What does it mean? Euro 2016 winner off to a sluggish start

Fernando Santos' side came under fire for a lacklustre display against Ukraine, and although Monday's performance was much improved, with Ronaldo's injury it lacked the quality to make the momentum, given to it by Danilo's equaliser, count.

Portugal now sits in third with two points from its two home fixtures, and given it is not in qualification action until September, it could be left with a lot of ground to make up.

Tadic's sensational run rolls on

Ajax maestro Tadic has been in scintillating form this season, and his penalty – which he set up with a neat throughball into Gacinovic – brought up a 31st goal for club and country in 2018-19.

What's next?

Portugal hosts the Nations League finals in June and faces Switzerland in that competition in its next outing. Serbia will continue its qualification campaign against Ukraine.