Solid Serbia too much for Turkey

Serbia 2-0 Turkey
Dejan Govedarica's side took the early initiative in Group B thanks to second-half goals from Miloš Jojić and Nikola Trujić in Berceni.

Miloš Jojić celebrates with his team-mates after scoring Serbia's opener
Miloš Jojić celebrates with his team-mates after scoring Serbia's opener ©Sportsfile

Goals from Miloš Jojić and substitute Nikola Trujić got Serbia's UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group B campaign off to a victorious start at Turkey's expense.

Kemal Özdeş' Turkey made all the early running in Berceni but failed to turn their pressure into goals and gradually the momentum shifted, Jojić breaking the deadlock with a thunderous effort three minutes before the hour. Turkey strove for an equaliser but Dejan Govedarica's team made the game safe when Trujić added a second a minute from time.

Both teams had three players suspended following the conclusion of their elite-round campaigns, yet it was Turkey who initially made lighter of those absences. Atinç Nukan glanced a header wide in the third minute before Engin Bekdemir skipped away from two challenges but dragged a shot across goal. A viciously dipping effort from captain Orhan Gülle then forced a scrambling Nikola Perić to tip over.

The best chance of the first period arrived midway through and once more it went Turkey's way. Again, however, it was not taken, Ömer Ali Şahiner prodding wide with only the goalkeeper to beat after a slick move sliced through the Serbia defence. In increasingly high winds Serbia had their first genuine opening as the interval approached, Ömer Kahveci proving equal to Andrej Mrkela's well-struck effort.

Serbia continued to threaten early in the second half, Jojić, Ivan Rogač and Mrkela narrowly failing to find the target before the pressure finally brought reward in the 57th minute. The influential Mrkela and Filip Malbašić were involved in the build-up, but the thunderous 20-metre drive that flashed into the corner of the net was all Jojić's own work.

Turkey could have levelled within seconds, Engin Bekdemir volleying acrobatically over when unmarked, before Sezer Özmen sent a looping header too high. With Turkey forced to press forward as time ran out, Serbia clinched the points on the counterattack as Mrkela set Trujić clear for a clinching second; next for the victors are four-time winners Spain, while Turkey take on Belgium.