Serbia claimed the UEFA European Under-19 Championship title for the first time as Andrija Luković’s calm second-half finish settled a tight final against France in Marijampole.
Both sides had chances in an even first 45 minutes, yet the deadlock was not broken until Luković slotted in early in the second period. France – seeking their third title at this level – tried to rally, but a well-drilled Serbian rearguard held firm, denying their opponents clear openings and space in the final third to spark jubilant scenes of celebration at full time.
Having each played extra time in their semi-finals, it was perhaps understandable that both teams opened cautiously, although the pattern of the match might have been different had France forward Corentin Jean not pulled the first opening of the evening across goal in the eighth minute. At the other end, Aleksandar Mitrović turned smartly, but his subsequent shot drifted over, a fate France’s Anthony Martial also suffered in similar circumstances later in the half.
Uroš Djurdjević did manage to get his shot on target after the ball had broken to him inside the France penalty area, Quentin Beunardeau saving comfortably, and then latched on to Mitrović’s clever header only to opt for a return pass instead of a shot. As quickly as it had come the opening was gone. Larry Azouni’s pass provided a glimpse of goal for Jordan Ikoko; the France right-back prodded wide.
Twelve minutes after half-time, Luković was not so forgiving. Marko Pavlovski’s cross cleared Antoine Conte and found Mitrović; although his first touch took him wide, the No14 had the presence of mind to pull the ball back for the midfielder to sidefoot in. Serbia swiftly pressed for a second but were almost caught out on the counterattack when Jean and Yassine Benzia combined to set up Adrien Hunou; Predrag Rajković blocked the shot.
Suitably roused, France continued to press, with goalkeeper Rajković spilling a fierce Benzia drive and substitutes Lenny Nangis and Kevin Rodrigues trying their luck from range, their efforts blocked and wayward respectively. Six days ago Serbia had found a late equaliser against France in Group B; this time Ljubinko Drulović’s team resisted attempts to turn the tables and, after one last scare when Benzia curled a free-kick too high, held out to finally claim the trophy.
Viktor Troicki went on a four-minute tirade at the Italian Open on Wednesday that had even his notoriously short-tempered opponent calling for the meltdown to finally end.
Troicki trailed 6-1 and faced break point in the first game of the second set against Ernests Gulbis when he hit a backhand that chair umpire Cedric Mourier overruled and called long, giving the game to Gulbis.
Mourier inspected the mark and confirmed the call, believing there was space between the outline of the ball on the clay and the line. Not satisfied, Troicki hopped over the net and had a look for himself.
“No, come on, Cedric, you know you’re wrong,” Troicki yelled as Mourier pointed at the mark. ”Come on, you know you’re wrong. Come on, please. You know that you’re wrong. You called it and now you don’t want to overrule yourself. Come on, there is no space. You know there is no space. Come on, no, I don’t want to play like this. There is no space. There is zero space. … You don’t want to correct yourself … because you always think you’re right, but you’re not.”
“I will retire, I will retire, seriously. I want a supervisor… You are 100% wrong, I wouldn’t make a show out of this,” Troicki said.
Yet the Serb continued to make a show of it.
In an unprecedented move, an irate Troicki then proceeded to take one of the TV cameras to show the world the ball mark in question. At that point the umpire had had enough, calling a time violation on Troicki.
Return of the captain after injury to Manchester United meant also the return of the trophy to the red part of Manchester. The last game of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the 2:1 victory over Swansea was under the captain leadership by the Serb.
Instead of lifting the Barclays Premier League trophy together with Patrice Evra, who replaced him at captain position while he was injured, Vidic decided to show respect to the Scott whose departing from United’s bench was yesterday followed by half of the world.
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic was handed the silverware but he passed it on to Ferguson who gleefully held it aloft.
“I think it is a special day,” Vidic said. “In one way we are happy to get the trophy but in another we are sad the manager is not here another year.”
Another detail with Nemanja marked the match. Head defense from the grass showed that United’s captain should be regarded seriously even when he’s laying on the ground.
World’s number one tennis player Novak Djokovic said today that he doesn’t understand why the audience in Madrid whistled during his match with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the second round of the masters series tournament.
“I really don’t understand why the audience turned against me, I don’t see a reason for such a thing, but ok. I am a professional, it is not the first time that this is happening to me”, said Djokovic.
At one point, when he managed to win second set after tie-break, Djokovic allegedly in a pretty vulgar way said to those fans what he feels about them.
The video doesn’t show it, but it is possible to hear Novak saying “Now you are all going to lick my d***!”
It is still unknown whether World Tennis Association will launched disciplinary action against world’s best tennis player.
According to The Observer, Manchester United have made inquiries about Benfica star Nemanja Matic as Alex Ferguson tried to find a top-quality central midfielder.
Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic’s agent is not surprised that his client has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United and Juventus.
“With how Matic is doing it is normal that clubs are interested in him,” Matic’s agent, Dejan Mitrovic told Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
Matic has recently signed a new five year deal, so will come at a price, but according to the report – United’s scouts have been impressed with the Serbian international who has notched up five goals so far this term.
The 25 year old has featured only five times for Serbia.
Chelsea have reportedly struck a deal for FK Partizan Belgrade sensation Lazar Markovic. The 19-year-old is reported to have pre-agreed a contract with the blues and he could join in the summer for a fee around £6million.
The 19-year-old striker is expected to ignore interest from Inter Milan and Liverpool to join the Blues this summer.
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is playing his part, urging his fellow countryman to join him at Stamford Bridge.
Also, Avram Grant is helping Chelsea to sign the hottest prospect in Serbian football. The former Blues boss spent five months at Partizan Belgrade last season and led them to their fifth consecutive title.
Partizan Belgrade basketball team is the winner of regional ABA League, competition in which teams from Serbia, Croatia, Bosna And Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia, Slovenia and Hungary take part.
Organized flawlessly, the final part of the tournament took place in Laktasi, town in Republika Srpska. In the semifinals, Red Star won Radnicki Kragujevac, while Partizan has beaten the home team Igokea.
In the final match that took place yesterday, Red Star was in the lead in the first part of the game, and it seemed that this will be another routine victory of red-and-whites over their biggest rival. Plenty of three shots and center domination under the hoops were paving the way to the title for Red Star.
However, from the third quarter, Partizan started playing much better, the players make free shots, they play simpler and make less mistakes. In the end, the result – 71:63 and celebration of Partizan fans.
One unpleasant detail happened in the thrid quarter when both of the coaches, Dusan Vujosevic and Dejan Radonjic, were sent off, so the teams were led by assistant coaches until the end of the game.