World news – The win over Portugal is more important than the goal record, Mitrovic says





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Zoran Milosavljevic

Aleksandar Mitrovic will face Portugal in qualifying for the World Cup tonight and will be determined to become the top scorer in his country to take a first-ever competition win against the European champions.

Mitrovic , who suffered a goal drought at his Premier League club Fulham, came off the bench in Serbia’s 3-2 win over Ireland in Group A opening match on Wednesday and scored two goals.

The double striker Stjepan Bobek from Yugoslavia, who played international football from 1946 to 1956, scored one goal with 38 goals. Mitrovic, 26, wants to set an unmatched record.

« It would be great to break the record against Portugal, but it’s more important to win the game, » said Mitrovic.

Serbia lost three and as many drew against the Portuguese and his new coach Dragan Stojkovic said his side would take the game to their rivals after a victorious but highly competitive debut win against the Irish.

« We’re going to reshuffle the team because it is difficult to play three games a week and Portugal has a very different perspective from Ireland, « said Stojkovic.

 » We are not going to be defensive or expect any gifts from the European champions, which means we will try to make life difficult for them. « 

Both teams hit three points at the top of Group A after Portugal opened their season with a nondescript 1-0 home win over Azerbaijan in Turin et has. The Iberian side are favorites in Group A but this will likely be the toughest game of the season but Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva was confident they would do better against Serbia.

« We have big ones Respect for the Serbs because they are a talented and physical team, but we believe in ourselves and our own abilities, « he said

 » We came here to win. Expectations at home have increased since we won Euro 2016 as we raised the bar for ourselves. We’ll do our best to do them justice, although getting into every game as a favorite isn’t easy. « 

Portugal coach Fernando Santos added: » We will try to keep the ball and wear it down. My team has a great desire to win a dynamic and fast-paced match. « 

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