Aleksandar Mitrovic hat-trick helped Serbia to 5-1 rout of Bolivia during their World Cup warm-up game in Graz.
But the talking point is the goal scored by former Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanović, thanks to the build up before the goal. He’s been known to be scoring critical, spectacular, legendary goals. Two against Liverpool to get things started, a left-footer against Manchester City at the Etihad, the Europa League final winner, and perhaps the most cathartic of all goals ever scored at the Bridge, the extra-time winner against Napoli in 2012, just to name a few.
During their last World Cup preparation game on Saturday against Bolivia, he unleashed one that possibly tops them all, if not in emotional value, then it just pure spectacle.
Mitrovic broke the deadlock for Serbia just 4 minutes into the game with a header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Adem Ljajic with the assist from a cross following a corner.
19 minutes on the clock, Adem Ljajic doubled the tally for Serbia with a right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
Mitrovic made it 3-0 and his second of the game, 23 minutes on, scoring from from the right side of the box to the high centre of the goal.
Chelsea former defender, Branislav Ivanovic right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal made it 4-0 for Serbia just 42 minutes into the game.
Bolivia, however, pulled one back, thanks to a left footed shot from Jhasmani Campos to the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Héctor Ronaldo Sánchez with the assist, following a fast break.
68 minutes into the game, Mitrovic scores his third of the game to complete the rout for Serbia, who were in a fine form all through the game.
Watch the full match highlights
Serbia are heading back to the World Cup after missing 2014 and failing to qualify for Euros 2012 and 2016 as well. They are likely to be motivated to put those failures behind them. Two former Chelsea players will be key to any such efforts, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic. They probably won’t score another goal like this (doubt anyone will), but perhaps the confidence gained will serve them well in a tough group as they’ve been drawn alongside Brazil and Costa Rica in Group E at Russia 2018, where they kick-off against Costa Rica next Sunday.