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Soccer: Serbia bounce back as Ukraine edge Luxembourg

Reuters 2019-06-10 21:23:00

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign back on track with a 4-1 home win over Lithuania while Ukraine tightened their grip on the top spot in Group B with a 1-0 victory at home to Luxembourg on Monday.

Ukraine are in pole position with 10 points from four games, followed by Luxembourg who have four points from as many matches. Third-placed Serbia are on four points from three games and trail Luxembourg on goal difference.

European champions Portugal, who won the Nations League on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Netherlands, have two points from two games and Lithuania prop the group with one from three.

Having suffered a 5-0 drubbing in Ukraine on Friday, Serbia celebrated their first win of the campaign behind closed doors as they served a one-match crowd ban for fan misbehaviour in their Nations League match against Montenegro in November.

Two clinical goals by Aleksandar Mitrovic and a superb strike by Real Madrid’s new signing Luka Jovic gave Serbia a 3-0 first-half lead and Adem Ljajic sealed the rout after Arvydas Novikovas had netted a 71st-minute penalty for Lithuania.

Ukraine were made to work hard for their win against Luxembourg and endured several scary moments after striker Roman Yaremchuk scored the game’s solitary goal with a sixth-minute header from Ruslan Malinovskyi’s cross.