Andrej Mrkela is aiming high after inspiring Serbia to a winning start in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship.
The Serbia captain played a key role in both goals in the 2-0 win against Turkey in Berceni, combining with Filip Malbašić to create the space for Miloš Jojić to open the scoring, before sliding a precise pass through for substitute Nikola Trujić to add a clinching second late on. "I had a good game today but I couldn't do it without the help of my team-mates," Mrkela told UEFA.com. "Now we're aiming for the semi-finals at least."
Mrkela's confidence is understandably high after an impressive display, particularly in the second period – proof of thorough planning bringing reward according to the captain. "We'd analysed Turkey a lot on video and we knew they'd be very strong, particularly in defence and midfield," said the FK Rad midfielder, whose father Mitar spent the 1992/93 season in Turkey with Beşiktaş JK. "They played well but we managed to beat them."
While Mrkela was involved in much of Serbia's best work from the off, Trujić had to bide his time before his 64th-minute introduction – although he made up for the delay with an assured finish for the second goal. "From the beginning I supported my team-mates from the bench," the FK Teleoptik forward said. "I was waiting for my time to come.
When I came on my aim was not to score a goal, I was planning to help my friends but after finding an unexpected opportunity I am happy to have converted it.
"We expected a tough task from Turkey, especially in the defence. We knew there wouldn't be many chances to score but we capitalised on what we found," said Trujić, who has already turned his attentions to Saturday’s second match. "Against Spain we'll start with the win in our minds as we did against Turkey. Our team spirit and the good atmosphere within the side are two key elements of our success."
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