Serbian media react to 'True Football Tragedy' and hail "amazing" Gavin Bazunu
"We created a lot of chances. I don't remember when we created so many."
So mused Serbia midfielder Filip Duričić after his side had dominated long tracts of their World Cup qualifier, only to be denied a win by Gavin Bazunu and a freak own goal.
Serbia were seeking to beat Ireland for a second time in Group A and get their noses in front of Portugal, in the race for automatic qualification for the World Cup. As it transpired, they were repelled on nine occasions by Bazunu and then conceded an unfortunate O.G in the 86th minute.
"We were the better team but we were punished because we didn't take advantage of all the chances we made," Serbia manager Dragan Stojković Piksi told Sportske.
"We played great, we created a lot of opportunities that for some reason we didn't take advantage of."
The same outlet wondered if Bazunu's outstanding performance against their side had made Pep Guardiola realise his next Manchester City No.1, and Ederson's eventual replacement, was already sorted. They were not the only Serbia outlet singing the praises of Ireland's 19-year-old goalkeeper.
While many in Ireland were proclaiming the Irish performance to be a new dawn, and a big positive to cling to, the Serbian media were wondering how the hell their guys has not won by two or three clear goals.
Blic Sport ran a post-mach headline that declared the 1-1 draw at the Aviva Stadium was 'A TRUE FOOTBALL TRAGEDY'.
They went on to declare that Serbia had torn Ireland apart, player superbly and shocked the home fans in Dublin. The same outlet claimed they had 'absurdly and undeservedly' failed to win, and that they had completely let Ireland off the hook.
"It was difficult to say anything after a game like this and when you don't take three points, which you really deserved with your performance," Serbia's Strahinja Pavlović was reported as saying in Zurnal.
Telegraf lamented the opportunity missed to take all three points and focused a big story on Bazunu, who is currently on loan from Manchester City to Portsmouth. They noted how he had made 18 fine saves from 22 shots in the games against Portugal and Serbia.
Bazunu was awarded 9/10 in the player ratings, credited for his "amazing" stops and tipped to be a long-term star for City and Ireland.