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Luka Jovic denies Slovenia historic win as Serbia keep Euro 2024 campaign alive

Serbia’s Luka Jovic grabbed a last-gasp equaliser (Matthias Schrader/AP)
Serbia’s Luka Jovic grabbed a last-gasp equaliser (Matthias Schrader/AP)

Luka Jovic’s stoppage-time header kept Serbia’s hopes alive and denied Slovenia their first European Championship finals win as their Group C clash in Munich ended 1-1.

Serbia, who lost their opening match 1-0 to England, appeared to be crashing out of the tournament as they trailed to Zan Karnicnik’s second-half effort, but AC Milan striker Jovic headed home a corner in the fifth minute of added time.

The point did little for either side’s chances of qualifying in the top two – Slovenia drew 1-1 with Denmark in their opener – with group rivals England set to play the Danes later on Thursday night.

Slovenia made the brighter start. Pisa forward Jan Mlakar’s angled low shot was well saved by the legs of Serbia goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic, while Dusan Vlahovic’s 27th-minute header, saved by Jan Oblak, was Serbia’s first chance.

Slovenia missed two golden chances to make their first-half superiority pay soon after when Timi Elsnik fired against a post from inside the penalty area and Benjamin Sesko lashed the rebound over the crossbar.

Serbia woke from their slumber shortly before the break and, as the game opened up, striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was denied by Oblak from close range to ensure the first period ended goalless.

Serbia looked to pick up where they left off after the restart. Oblak darted off his goalline to again thwart Mitrovic, who then headed narrowly over as Dragan Stojkovic’s side upped the tempo.

Serbia’s Luka Jovic, centre, heads home in stoppage time
Serbia’s Luka Jovic, centre, heads home in stoppage time (Antonio Calanni/AP)

Sesko eased the pressure on Slovenia with a curling effort that was superbly saved by Rajkovic, but Serbia continued to look the more threatening.

Mitrovic miscued another effort on goal before Serbia were stunned in the 68th minute.

Karnicnik began a sweeping counter down the right and after spraying the ball wide he continued his run to guide home Elsnik’s pinpoint cross at the far post.

Having opened the scoring, Karnicnik then got a vital foot on the ball to deflect Mitrovic’s half-volley onto the crossbar as Serbia looked to respond.

Substitute Sergej Milinkovic-Savic headed wide, but as the clock ticked into the fifth minute of time added on, second-half substitute Jovic headed an equaliser from Ivan Ilic’s superb corner.