The opening match of the current, two-game series between Serbia U21s and Lebanon’s Junior Cedars at Belgrade’s SC Inge Stadium, was capped in the dying minutes of a game full of excitement and momentum shifts, when a try by Serbian substitute, Vladimir Milutinović enabled Serbia U21’s to level the final score at 18-all.
Lebanon twice took the lead early in the game, through tries from Ziad Agha and Rey Sabat, but the hosts hit back with a Pavle Vojinović touchdown and converted try from Stefan Vukanović to give them a 10-8 lead at the break. And when winger Vojinović scored his second at the start of the second half, it looked as though the Serbians would take control. But Lebanon edged ahead again, with impressive centre Sabat crossing and Josep Aslan converting an Omar Marhaba try, to make it 18-14 to the visitors.
Milutinović however, saved the Serbians’ blushes even though his try was too far out for Đorše Stošić to convert and win the game.
“It was a good first test for both teams,” said Serbian U21 coach, Admir Hadžić. “Our boys were a bit more nervous, which is why we play these games, so they can appreciate what international rugby is all about. It will be great to see how they respond.”
The second test is scheduled for Sunday 25 September, at FK Heroj Polet in Jajinci.