Chile beat World Cup-bound Serbia 1-0 in friendly

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Graz (Austria), June 5 (IANS) Serbia lost to Chile in the first of their 2018 World Cup warm-up matches, conceding a late goal to Guillermo Maripan.

The centre-back headed in from close range two minutes from time to earn a deserved win for Reinaldo Rueda’s side on Monday, the BBC reported.

Former Manchester United and Wigan striker Angelo Henriquez missed an open goal from three yards out.

At the other end Newcastle United’s Aleksandar Mitrovic was denied a penalty after Erick Pulgar’s challenge.

The South American squad, which failed to qualify for the World Cup, dominated the first half on the efforts of Junior Fernandes and Angelo Sagal. It had rested stars Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal for the friendly, opting for a younger side.

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Serbia chose to leave Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic on the bench, instead starting Liverpool’s Marko Grujic.

Looking sluggish and sloppy, the Serbs created only one serious chance before the break, a strike by Aleksandar Kolarov in the 40th minute that tested Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias, Efe news reported.

Serbia continue their tournament preparation with a friendly against Bolivia on Saturday before their opening Group E match against Costa Rica on June 17.

Five-time champions Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland are the other teams in Group E.

–IANS

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