Belgium won their test match against Serbia 1-0 to kick off the final international phase of the year. RB goalscorer Openda was unable to score any points for national team coach Domenico Tedesco
Belgium, who have already qualified for next summer’s European Championship in Germany, had to do without a party with their own fans on Wednesday evening. The test match against Serbia was moved from Brussels to Leuven at short notice due to the unplayability of the pitch after heavy rainfall. Fans were not allowed to attend for organizational and safety reasons.
Leipzig’s Openda, who was in Belgium’s starting eleven, will probably not have been entirely unhappy about this in hindsight. The goalscorer was unable to carry his strong form from the Bundesliga into the national team.
After just a few seconds, the speedy attacker appeared in front of Serbia keeper Rajkovic, who just managed to box the ball away with one hand – right at the feet of Carrasco, who scored the goal of the evening less than 120 seconds later (2nd). A minute later, Openda failed to beat Rajkovic from an acute angle (3), and the same picture emerged with great chances on 26 and 33 minutes. Openda despaired one last time shortly before the break with his shot to the near corner (43).
Djuricic hits the post – and curiously the crossbar
Serbia, who were far too passive for much of the first half, were only dangerous on two occasions, with ex-Hertha player Samardzic firing the first warning shot before former Mainz player Djuricic missed the equalizer when he hit the post from a turn (24′, 31′).
After the break, many changes of personnel on both sides took the flow out of the game. Openda was “redeemed” by Tedesco after 67 minutes. One minute earlier, starting debutant Deman, who certainly impressed at left-back, had the best chance of the second period to date, but the Werder professional also failed to beat Rajkovic (66′).
In the final 20 minutes, Serbia worked harder to equalize. After Radonjic fired over with his left foot and Mitrovic missed a good headed chance, the Serbian equalizer was on a silver platter: ex-Frankfurt player Kostic set up Djuricic perfectly, but the latter managed to hit the crossbar from less than five metres out (89′).
So it remained a narrow but not undeserved 1:0 victory for Tedesco’s Belgians, who conclude their European Championship qualifying campaign against Azerbaijan on Sunday. Serbia will face Bulgaria three hours earlier