Luka Jovic’s 95th-Minute Goal Saves Serbia in Euro 2024

Luka Jovic’s 95th-Minute Goal Saves Serbia in Euro 2024

In a dramatic Euro 2024 encounter, Luka Jovic secured a 95th-minute equalizer, ensuring Serbia salvaged a crucial 1-1 draw against Slovenia.

Slovenia seemed poised for a historic victory after full-back Zan Karnicnik converted a low cross from close range in the 70th minute, putting them on the brink of their first-ever Euros win. This goal also threatened to push Serbia toward elimination.

However, former Real Madrid forward Jovic turned the tide with a deft near-post header from a corner, igniting celebrations among Serbian fans in Munich.

This draw significantly impacts Group C, particularly benefiting England. If Gareth Southgate’s squad defeats Denmark later on Thursday, they are guaranteed to advance as group winners.

Serbia’s manager, Dragan Stojkovic, had previously criticized his team for showing too much respect to England in their opening match.

Unfortunately, Serbia began slowly again in Munich and struggled to find their rhythm. Despite this, Slovenia’s late push saw Karnicnik score from Timi Elsnik’s cross, nearly securing a historic win for the small nation.

Slovenia, who have only one prior major tournament victory (against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup), appeared set to make history by advancing to the knockout stages.

However, Jovic’s last-gasp goal means both teams remain in contention as they head into their final group games on Tuesday. Slovenia will face England, while Serbia takes on Denmark, with both matches kicking off at 20:00 BST.

The Slovenians showed early promise, recording two shots on target within the first 12 minutes, matching their total from their previous draw with Denmark.

Notably, Timi Elsnik struck the near post in the 38th minute, with Benjamin Sesko missing the rebound opportunity. Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic was a constant threat but was twice denied by Slovenia’s standout goalkeeper, Jan Oblak.

In the second half, Slovenia continued to press, with Predrag Rajkovic making a crucial save to tip over a powerful Sesko shot. Yet, he couldn’t prevent Karnicnik’s goal, which sent Slovenian fans into ecstatic celebrations.

Karnicnik also made a pivotal defensive play, blocking Mitrovic’s close-range volley onto the bar, seemingly securing Slovenia’s victory.

However, just as tensions rose and fans were warned against throwing bottles, Jovic’s timely goal kept Serbia’s hopes alive and dashed Slovenia’s dreams.

This thrilling match leaves the group finely poised, with everything still to play for in the final round of games.