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Serbia secure historic U-20 World Cup title

Nemanja Maksimović's 117th-minute strike earned Serbia a famous 2-1 win in Auckland as they ended Brazil's record unbeaten run to lift the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Nemanja Maksimović celebrates his 117th-minute winner for Serbia against Brazil
Nemanja Maksimović celebrates his 117th-minute winner for Serbia against Brazil ©Getty Images

Nemanja Maksimović grabbed a dramatic extra-time winner as Serbia beat Brazil to claim their first FIFA U-20 World Cup title at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.

FC Astana midfielder Maksimović found an extra burst of energy with penalties only three minutes away, sprinting through the Brazil back line, collecting Andrija Živković's pass and poking the ball in for an historic 2-1 victory.

It was an apt way to finish a final Brazil had dominated but always looked susceptible to Serbian counterattacks. It was how they had taken the lead on 70 minutes, Maksimović setting up Staniša Mandić. Substitute Andreas Pereira quickly equalised, sending the game to extra time and ultimately Maksimović's golden moment.

"Thanks to everybody who supported us," said coach Veljko Paunović. "This is for our country, for Serbian football. I am so proud: the players have finished the first episode of their carreers in the best possible way. Now it's a time to take a look at the next ten years in senior football. I don't think it's the last trophy for this this generation."

Serbia qualified for the New Zealand finals via the 2014 UEFA European Under-19 Championship. They had never reached the decider before as an independent nation, although Yugoslavia won it in 1987.

Brazil were bidding to match Argentina's record haul of six wins – in their ninth final. They had extended their unprecedented unbeaten run at this tournament to 21 consecutive games before defeat by Serbia.

Past U-20 World Cup finals featuring UEFA nations
Turkey 2013: France 0-0 Uruguay (France won 4-1 on pens)
Colombia 2011: Brazil 3-2 Portugal (aet)
Canada 2007: Argentina 2-1 Czech Republic
United Arab Emirates 2003: Brazil 1-0 Spain
Nigeria 1999: Spain 4-0 Japan
Portugal 1991: Portugal 0-0 Brazil (Portugal won 4-2 on pens)
Saudi Arabia 1989: Portugal 2-0 Nigeria
Chile 1987: Yugoslavia 1-1 West Germany (Yugoslavia won 5-4 on pens)
Soviet Union 1985: Brazil 1-0 Spain (aet)
Australia 1981: West Germany 4-0 Qatar